Equip more safety features. Your products are too fatty. Stop destroying the environment.
In this day and age, companies are often pressured by consumers and activist groups to change one thing or another. And whether it be a “health” trend or a “green” cause, companies often do. SunChips, owned by chip maker Frito-Lay, has always projected a good image to its consumers.
You want a healthy chip? Here you go. SunChips are made with all natural ingredients, no artificial flavors, no MSG, no preservatives, and they even contain 18 grams of whole grains per serving and zero grams of trans fat and cholesterol.
You want to help the environment? We equipped one of our eight manufacturing facilities with solar collector technology. Also, we now package our chips in biodegradable packaging.
You want us to remove the biodegradable packaging now? What?
That’s right. After receiving complaints from consumers, SunChips decided to remove their biodegradable bags. The reason: the bags were too noisy. SunChips released the “green” compostable bags in January 2010. They pulled the bag from five of the six flavors just 18 months later when customers were complaining that the bags were too noisy. There was even a 44,000 member Facebook group protesting the noisy bags.
Am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous? Even if the SunChips bags are a little loud, deal with it and help the environment. From an utilitarian perspective, those people are just selfish to the planet and all because can’t deal with a little bit of noise. There would be less plastic bags floating around and killing whales. It could also lead to a trend in the United States(since other countries have already started) that could prevent the world from looking like the futuristic depiction in Wall-e.
But after further investigation, it seems like SunChips lovers acted on their complaints. Since the new bag has been out, SunChips have seen a decline in year-on-year sales. I guess Friedman was right, leave the “social responsibilities to the politicians.” After all, owners of Pepsi NYSE:PEP (Pepsi owns Fritoy-Lay) stock sure wouldn’t like it if the stock price fell.
…and maybe the bag is a little noisy…