Corn Commentary

Corn-based Packages for Corn Chips

Frito-Lay has announced a new packaging initiative that’s a chip off the old chip.

Starting next year, all Frito-Lay multigrain SunChips (which are made with whole corn) will come packaged in the first fully compostable snack chip bag made from plant-based materials - that is, corn-based. According to the company, “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 snacks 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. They even have a video on their website of the bag decomposing.

In addition, at a time when other food companies are keeping higher prices from last year intact, Frito-Lay recently began to add 20 percent more product into its take-home sized Doritos, Tostitos, Cheetos and Fritos products, without increasing the price.

But wait - there’s more! On Earth Day this week, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and National Geographic announced the launch of the Green Effect, a national initiative that encourages consumers to take their own small steps toward helping the planet. Consumers can submit their ideas on how to make their communities greener, for the chance to win one of five $20,000 grants that will help turn their green ideas into reality.

According to news release, the Green Effect initiative is the second collaboration between Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, and National Geographic. “Earlier this year, Frito-Lay and National Geographic teamed up to create a unique editorial supplement entitled, “Solutions for A Better World: A Lighter Footprint.” The supplement, which was polybagged with National Geographic magazine, detailed the world’s current dependency on fossil fuels and delves into the realities of alternative solutions including; solar energy, wind power, biofuels, recycling and water conservation.”

So munch a bunch of Frito’s SunChips today and feel good about it!