Why do Bags of Chips/Crisps Have So Much Air? Here’s Why.

On Twitter recently it was trending to turn bags of potato chips (crisps, in UK English) upside down on the shelf, as a way to show others how much you’re being “ripped off” by the way the chips all fall down into the part of the bag covered by the logo, and how much air is inside, showing how many chips you’re not getting. However, you want MORE air in your bag, depending.

Here are several reasons why your chips have so much air in the bag, and why that is completely reasonable.

1. A bag with more air can’t be crushed as easily, meaning less fractured chips. You may notice that chips like Cheetos and Fritos have less air in them (but also smaller bag sizes) and that’s because those chips are tougher to break, so the need for air cushioning is reduced. With as many people that handle the bags, and with as many times they are handled, the presence of air prevents individual stockers from crushing the chips inside by there being more air, since grasping the bag front to back would leave more space in between due to the tensile strength of the bag, for the chips to remain in.

If you buy a TV retail, the box is larger than the TV is, because the box contains both the TV and often foam corner cushions to help prevent damage to the TV. You’re not being deceived in buying less-TV or a smaller TV based on how big the box is; the bigger box protects the actual TV you’re buying. Likewise, the ounces of chips you’re buying are more protected in transit and in the stocking process by having a larger bag with more air. The ounces are printed on the front, just as a TV size is printed on the front.

2. Perfect-seal/freshness checking is far easier with more air. Sometimes when receiving cases of chips, there will be one or two inside that seem deflated somewhat, and may have a slow leak that is not obvious, meaning the freshness is questionable from not having a complete seal on it, and dirt/etc could have gotten inside. Having more air in the bag helps with being able to compress gently to detect whether there is any seal rupture, so that it can be refunded as damaged goods.

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