Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I've been a big fan of the work that the Sun Chips brand team to build its green credentials and take advantage of its eco-friendly name. Back in 2009, I commended the team for a series of initiatives it had taken to build the brand's green credentials. These went way beyond a single promotional tie-in or superficial gesture and included taking its Casa Grande manufacturing plant off the grid running it on solar power and recycled water.
But, last year, the brand team's commitment to the environment got them into trouble. They launched a new fully compostable bag which was an awesome idea but had one fatal flaw--the bags were really, really loud: "Noisier than a jetfighter cockpit," as one commentator put it. After a flood of criticism, the brand team took the bag off the market to give them time for a rethink
They promised they'd be back and I'm happy to report that now they are with a bag that reclaims the environmental high ground. The new product is still fully compostable but adds a new adhesive that functions as a noise barrier and dampens the sound to hopefully acceptable levels. They are planning to introduce the new packaging gradually to make sure it's OK from the consumer perspective.
I'm just as guilty as anyone else in having some tweeting or blogging fun at the expense of marketers who've tried but failed with some ad, promotion, design or other initiative. But, in this case, I hope the new bag succeeds in the market and quietens the critics.