The Baked! Tostitos® Saga Part II

Well, it turns out that we in Canada have not been singled out by Frito Lay in the saga of the discontinuation of Tostitos® Baked! Bite Size Triangles that I posted about previously. It appears there are also disappointed fans of this late, great snack food in the US; I did some Googling and turned up a post on another blog (Walt Now Studios) about it.

In fact, a follow-up post on the blog gave me a brief glimmer of hope that they were starting to re-appear on store shelves. Alas, this was not the case: apparently, it was simply a matter of existing stock trickling through the supply chain.

A commenter there did suggest that this was simply a temporary hiatus while Frito Lay harmonizes all their packaging to use the opaque mylar bags; the Tostitos® Baked! Bite Size Triangles should (probably… one hopes, fervently) reappear once the clear plastic  packaging is replaced with the new type.

You will hear a great sigh of relief (not to mention the sound of a mylar bag being feverishly ripped open) once they reappear…

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2 Responses to The Baked! Tostitos® Saga Part II

  1. Ted says:

    And you figured out why they go in mylar coated bags?

  2. Rob says:

    Well, let’s see…

    – The mylar bags are probably easier to blow up with air before they are sealed; this is called “air fill” (clever name, that… I can’t take credit for it, though 😉 ) and is adjusted quite carefully on the filling machines. The clear plastic they used in the Tostitos® bags was fairly stiff, unlike the very thin mylar which has good “drape”. The air fill is important for product quality because it helps to keep the chips inside the bag from being crushed into dust during shipping and handling — kind of like the air pillows they pack around fragile items in boxes before they’re shipped. Now, I know that everyone thinks that they *really* do this to fool you into thinking you’re getting more product and that they complain they’re getting gypped because the bag’s not jammed full, but having worked for Frito Lay at one point, I can tell you that’s not the case. OK, I’m sure for the marketing types, it’s a side-benefit to make the consumer think they’re getting more… but product quality is the real reason for it (ultimately driven by the profit motive: pulverized chips = lots of returns and lost customers)

    – For traditional (fried) snacks, the clear bags would probably display all too clearly the grease from the product (don’t try to imagine this, it’s way too disgusting…); the baked products don’t have this issue, but I suspect that it would just about kill the sales of everything else. Hmm… maybe the government needs to legislate them to pack all snack foods in clear packaging in order to improve people’s eating habits and reduce health care costs.

    – In addition to the cost reduction potential of eliminating different packaging materials, machinery and printing processes, the mylar bags are probably inherently cheaper simply because they contain less plastic — they’re extremely thin compared to the clear plastic ones. In a sense, this is probably A Good Thing from an environmental point of view too, but since we *are* talking about snack foods, I don’t think we can really get too altruistic on the subject (OK, everyone join hands and sing “Kumbaya”…)

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