The Reason Your Potato Chips Bags Are Never Fully Filled

Whether you open up a small personal bag of chips or a party-sized bag to feed a crowd, it's always a little disappointing to see that the bag is far from full. While you might assume that the bag is only partially filled to maximize profit margins, it has to do with the consumer experience as well. By only filling up potato chips bags part of the way, the chips themselves are protected so there are more whole chips to enjoy, according to Reader's Digest.

It all comes down to the transportation process. You know how fragile potato chips can be, so it shouldn't be too surprising that they could be easily crushed during their journey to grocery store shelves. But by only filling the bags partly and leaving space inside the sealed bag, the chips have some cushioning to prevent them from being pulverized. What you might not realize, though, is that it actually isn't air that the bags are filled with before being sealed.

The chip bag is not filled with air

According to Today, potato chip bags are not filled with air. Rather, they are filled with nitrogen, which is known as "slack fill." The nitrogen used to fill the bags before they are sealed is designed not only to create space for the chips, but also to keep them fresh and flavorful. As Kitchen Cabinet Kings told Today, "Unless chips are sold vacuum sealed, there's really no way to get around a nitrogen-stuffed bag."

So, the next time you open a bag of chips, only to find significantly fewer chips than you expected, just know that it is not without good reason. Because of the smaller number of chips in the bag, you'll get a better serving and fewer tiny, broken pieces. Just keep in mind that you might need to buy more bags than you might expect if you're throwing a party.