A common complaint among potato chip enjoyers is the number of chips in the bag. One looks at a bag of potato chips on the shelf, buys it, then opens it to discover that, often, less than half of the bag is full.
Why? TikTok user Selena Aragon (@selenaaragon7), who claims to work as a merchandiser for Frito-Lay, recently went viral for her answer to this question.
Selena’s video currently has over 1.1 million views.
@selenaaragon7 We love a full bag of Cheetos!! 😍#fritolay #fyp #fypシ #noair #chips #cheetos #worklife #error #goodluck #merchandise #samsclub #luckyyou #weloveit #like #follow #workflow #nohatepls #thanksforthelove ♬ original sound – Selena Aragon
Apparently, the “air” (which is mainly nitrogen, per Today) is both to preserve flavor and serve as padding for transit, Aragon says.
Aragon says that if a bag has more than the expected weight of chips, it is considered defective.
Aragon elaborates on this in a follow-up video.
@selenaaragon7 #greenscreen thank you for the love 💕 but let’s address some things… #fritolay #fyp #fypシ #MakeASplash #chips #noair #cheetos #worklife #weloveit #like#followers😘thanku #comment #nohatejustlove #merchandise #nohatepls #workflow #dontbesurprised #notascam #sorrynotsorry ♬ original sound – Selena Aragon
“Frito-Lay is not trying to scam you,” she says in the video. “They tell you how much chips you’re getting when you buy the bag.”
At this point, she shows a bag of Cheetos, and a weight is visible on it.
Despite this information, many commenters still favored a fuller bag, no matter how many cracked chips it may create.
“I’m about to spend hours at the store feeling every bag,” one user wrote.
“That ain’t a mess up,” another added. “That’s how it should be !”
While many went on to thank Aragon for her informative videos, several commenters wondered why it appears that bags of chips are getting smaller—and more expensive—over time.
“There been to price increases since the first of the year and I have yet to see a decline in sales,” one user alleged. “People are still buying more than one bag at [a time].”
Aragon agreed, responding, “When I started bags were 2.19 and now they are 5.29… I’m glad I see when they go on sale.”
As to whether bags of Lay’s and Cheetos are getting smaller, the answer appears to be yes.
Consumer watchdog website MousePrint noted that the Party Size of Lay’s Potato Chips went from 15.25 ounces to 13 ounces in 2020. Quartz reported in March that Frito-Lay was shrinking the size of its standard Dorito bag due to “inflation.”
“Inflation is hitting everyone,” a representative told Quartz. “We took just a little bit out of the bag so we can give you the same price and you can keep enjoying your chips.”
However, while inflation may be the stated reason for Frito-Lay’s reduction in bag size, its bottom line seems to have been largely unaffected by the supposed cost increases.
Looking at the company’s Q1 report for 2022, Frito-Lay North America boasted a 14% net revenue increase since last year. This keeps the trend held by Q4 2021, after which Frito-Lay North America noted that its “operating profit increased 10%.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Aragon via TikTok comment and Frito-Lay via email.
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