Why crisp bags are so disappointing

It's a deflating feeling: you open a bag of crisps, and the air rushes out, leaving a few underwhelming crumbs at the bottom of a huge packet.

This wasted space has now become the feature of artist Henry Hargreaves.

"Over the years of being a consumer and buying crisps I was constantly being disappointed with the value for money. And eventually I snapped," says Hargreaves.

"Packaging and the display of food has become an illusion and a fantasy.

"My hypothesis was that there might be 50 per cent air in the worst offenders, not 87 per cent," he says.

Hargreaves calculated the volume of each filled bag by submerging them under water and then monitoring the displacement. He then vacuum-sealed the contents in another bag and compared the difference.

In fact, bags of crisps are not filled with atmospheric air but nitrogen, because the oxygen in air would cause the crisps to go soft. Nitrogen gives the product a longer shelf life, and a 1994 study suggested that it makes the crisps tastier.

Read the full article here.

Purchase this article for republication.

SERVICES