Pet Peeve #60: “Easy Open” Bags That Are Hard for Me to Open

mission-food-packetYesterday I tore into a bag of Mission tortilla strips only to find that the bag wouldn’t open.

Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be a problem. But this was no ordinary bag of tortilla chips, my friends. In bold letters at the top of the bag, complete with two dainty finger icons, were the words, “Easy-open bag.”

Those words taunted me as I struggled to first partition the thick paper at the top of the bag, which was sturdily glued together. When I finally pried it open, I was met by an inner plastic lining that had no seam.

Now, if the bag wasn’t busy mocking me with how easy it was to open, this wouldn’t be an issue. But I’m sitting there struggling with the bag, thinking of all the people out there who found the bag easy to open in Mission’s market testing. Who are these people who, after being presented with the bag and a short survey, checked the “easy” box under “opening the bag”?

Consider the opposite scenario: What if Mission had decided to print “fairly difficult to open” at the top of the bag? It would have reset my expectations of the bag-opening experience. If I found it easy to open, I’d consider myself a super hero. If I struggled with it, no problem–it says so right on the bag that people have a hard time opening it.

Finally, my dignity barely intact, I managed to pierce the inner lining and get through to the chips. Easy to open? Not so much. But I clearly haven’t let it haunt me for the last 24 hours. I’ve moved on to bigger and better things, like jars of pickles or cat toys sealed in thick plastic.

Have you ever experienced this “easy-open” battle? Did you succeed where others have failed?

7 thoughts on “Pet Peeve #60: “Easy Open” Bags That Are Hard for Me to Open”

  1. When I saw the headline for this post in my newsfeed, I instantly thought, “Mission Chips.” I’ve been plagued by their “Easy Open” bags many times myself. I consider that label misleading at best and cruel at worst. But Mission chips are too delicious to give up when faced with a difficult bag. I just use a scissors.

  2. Even though this is only tangentially related, I’ll take any platform to dispute another common label on food about which I’ve stood on many a soapbox–“Fun-Size”. In the words of Ed Anger, it makes me pig-biting mad to see that label on a tiny piece of candy. How many people out there, when faced with a regular-sized candy bar and a bite-sized one, would state that the smaller one is in fact, more fun? Along the same lines as your chip complaint, I’d have no problem if they labeled those small pieces “Disappointment-Size”. I’d see that and, like you, reset my expectations, then acknowledge after eating that I was indeed disappointed that there isn’t more…and I’d go about my business. Right now I just want to slap an entire industry.

    • Trev: I totally agree! I like “Disappointment Size” or “Underwhelming Size” or “Mouth Size” (slightly bigger than “bite size.”

  3. Easy Open?!? It is not easy open. They decided to print that on the bag as clear false inducement to buy. A bold-faced marketing lie!!!!

  4. I went so far as to contact their US customer support. I got a personal call back. “We had meant for the bag to pull open easily, like a popcorn bag. But when we used the easy-open glue, the chips got stale. So we went back to the solid glue along the full seam and we advise customers to use scissors. We are continuing to work on making our bags easier to open.” Ha ha! You would think they could either just pull those finger icons off the bag print template (it’s all got to be digital, right?) or at the very least put a statement on their online FAQ. Oh well. I still think the chips are some of the best store-bought commercial chips available.

    • Ken: Well done with your investigative research! Given that they know how hard they are to open, why in the world would they continue to print “easy open” on the bags?! 🙂


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