Frito-Lay's SunChips Brand Changing the Future of Snack Food Packaging
PepsiCo Division Revolutionizing Packaging Starting with Plant-Based Renewable Materials for Outer Layer
PLANO, Texas, Apr 16, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- SunChips, Frito-Lay's popular line of multigrain snacks, announced today
that in 2010 it will introduce the first fully compostable snack chip
bag made from plant-based materials. The change is designed to
significantly improve the environmental impact of its packaging.
This month, the SunChips brand is taking the first step towards this
transformational packaging. The outer layer of packaging on 10 ½ oz size
SunChips snack bags will be made with a compostable, plant-based
renewable material, polylactic acid (PLA). By Earth Day 2010, PepsiCo's
Frito-Lay North America division plans to rollout a package for its
SunChips snacks where all layers are made from PLA material so the
package is 100% compostable.
"We know environmentally-friendly packaging is a priority for our
SunChips consumer," said Gannon Jones, vice president, marketing,
Frito-Lay North America. "Today's launch of packaging made with 1/3
renewable materials is an important first step towards having a fully
compostable chip bag in market by Earth Day 2010."
Current snack food packaging has three layers: a printed outer layer
with packaging visuals/graphics, an inner layer, which serves as a
barrier to maintain the quality and integrity of the product, and a
middle layer that joins the other two layers. When the packaging is 100%
compostable, it will fully decompose in about 14 weeks when placed in a
hot, active compost pile or bin. NatureWorks LLC is providing the PLA,
which is trademarked under the Ingeo name.
"Packaging is clearly the most visible interaction consumers have with
Frito-Lay's brands," said Jay Gehring, vice president, packaging R&D,
Frito-Lay North America. "To make packaging that would interact
differently in the environment we had to change the composition of
packaging and invent key technologies. Using plant-based renewable
materials, we have a promising solution that will transform packaging
and significantly impact the billions of snack food bags produced
Once the 100% compostable bag is introduced, the company anticipates the
switch will lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the production
of the packaging and the elimination of petroleum-based packaging
Over the past few years, Frito-Lay's packaging initiatives have made
some significant strides. This includes reducing the amount of plastic
in packaging by 10% over the last five years, and thereby eliminating 12
million pounds of materials annually used to make the snack bags. In
addition, Frito-Lay will be the first snack food company to fund the
collection and upcycling of its used packaging through a program in
conjunction with TerraCycle.
To inform consumers about the new packaging initiatives, the brand will
be communicating through traditional marketing efforts, including print,
TV and digital advertising. As part of the current packaging change, the
front panel of the current 10 ½ oz size SunChips package features a
callout, "Renewable materials make up 33% of this bag." To communicate
the next improvement, the digital strategy includes a video showing how
the bag decomposes over 14 weeks. Also, samples of the 100% compostable
material will be distributed at major retailers across the country and
as part of a special People magazine ad.
The launch of PLA packaging is yet another small step in the SunChips
brand's sustainability journey. On Earth Day 2008, the SunChips brand
celebrated a major milestone by inaugurating a solar concentrator field
at Frito-Lay's Modesto, California facility. There, the power of the sun
is harnessed to help in the production of SunChips snacks. The Modesto
plant is one of seven Frito-Lay plants across the country that makes
In 2008, the city of Greensburg, Kansas was tragically struck by a
devastating tornado that destroyed nearly all of the community. When the
city decided to rebuild as an eco-friendly town, SunChips stepped up to
help rebuild the community. The SunChips brand sponsored the SunChips
Business Incubator, which will house 10 local businesses and provide the
economic infrastructure to support the return of Greensburg residents.
SunChips donate $1 million to help build the business incubator and has
raised funds to re-plant trees in Greensburg.
SunChips multigrain snacks, originally introduced in 1991, contain a
full serving of whole grains, 0 grams of trans fats, and are made with
sunflower oil. SunChips snacks, available in Original, Harvest Cheddar,
French Onion, Garden Salsa and Peppercorn Ranch flavors, provide 18
grams of whole grains per one ounce serving from a blend of corn, oats
The packaging campaign is being launched with the support of multiple
partners: Juniper Park (advertising), Hornall Anderson (packaging), OMD
(media buying), The Marketing Arm (in-store), Ketchum (public relations)
and the Zocalo Group (word of mouth).
This packaging innovation is in line with the commitment by PepsiCo,
Frito-Lay's parent, to reduce the company's impact on the environment
through water, energy and packaging initiatives.
Frito-Lay North America is the $11 billion convenient foods business
unit of PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In
addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker
Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the
corporate Web site, www.fritolay.com,
and the Snack Chat blog, www.snacks.com.