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What's Really in Your Bag of Chips: The Air to Snack Ratio

We’ve all been there. You open a bag of chips, look inside and feel a sense of disappointment when you realize the bag is filled with mostly air. So what gives? Has your favorite snack settled in transit or did the good folks over at the distribution center pulled a fast one on you.

Why is there air in my bag of chips?

Before going any further, let’s first address the purpose of air in a bag of chips. First of all, it’s not actually air in the bag, but instead, nitrogen. This process is called “slack fill” and does a couple things for your salty treats.

  1. Protection: Without a nitrogen stuffed bag, your chips would likely be pulverized into crumbs during transit. Slack fill helps protect the chips during its journey from distribution center to grocery aisle.
  1. Freshness: No one likes stale chips. Nitrogen helps keep you snacks crispy. If the bag was filled with air, oxygen would cause the oils in the chip to go rancid and your chip to become stale.

You must be wondering, which chips have the most air per bag. Well, after continuous frustration and inflated expectations, someone finally decided to look into the air to chip ratio of America’s favorite snack brands. Kitchen Cabinet Kings put together a study, on the 14 most popular chip brands, that measures the air to chip ratio. Find out how your favorite brands stack up and which ones give you the best bang for your buck.


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