Let us paint you a picture: It’s Friday night. You’re on your couch. You’ve got your dips set out and your bags of chips purchased. You’re ready to binge-watch whatever show everyone is freaking out about at the moment — at least until you start drifting off to sleep in a post-snack-food coma surrounded by crumbs. We’ve all been there.
But then you reach for the bag of chips, open it up, and bam: it’s practically empty. It’s two pounds of air protecting a handful of measly-looking chips that only take up the lower third of the bag. If you’ve ever thought, “This can’t be right, they’re totally scamming me out of chips,” then you’re not alone, hungry friend. Because NBC 4 New York reports that two plaintiffs are preparing to sue one potato chip manufacturer over just that issue.
Yes, it turns out the biggest chips-related travesty of the year will not be the box-office disaster starring Dax Shepperd, but rather the criminally under-filled chip bags produced by Wise Foods, Inc. of Berwick, PA. The mid-size snack food company, which sells its products in 15 states along the eastern seaboard, is now the target of a lawsuit from customers complaining that Wise Foods is purposefully and knowingly under-filling its chip bags in an attempt to deceive customers.
Now, it’s not uncommon for chip producers to put a certain amount of air into potato chip bags as part of the packaging. Referred to as “slack-fill,” this pocket of air is meant to provide a buffer for the chips so that when you crack open a bag, it doesn’t look like this:
And federal guidelines are clear: slack-fill is a totally legitimate reason to under-fill potato chip bags. However, this lawsuit claims that Wise Foods has completely overstepped the bounds of traditional slack-fill, and that deception, along with the fact that the non-opaque bags make it difficult to judge how full the bags are, demands consequences. From the looks of things, customers have plenty to be angry about:
The lawsuit is asking for up to $1,500 per violation under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act, and for Wise Foods to quit with the BS and start properly filling their bags.
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