We weighed 100 bags of Lay’s chips — This is how many were underweight

MyBroadband purchased and weighed 100 bags of Lay’s 36-gram chips and found that three units were underweight by 1–2 grams.

The test follows a recent incident where MyBroadband purchased a single bag of Lay’s 36-gram chips and discovered it weighed only 25 grams.

Pepsico — the owner of Simba, of which Lay’s is a sub-brand — told MyBroadband that finding a 25-gram bag “was not a common occurrence at all”.

The company stated MyBroadband’s bag of chips was produced on 12 November 2022 at its Isando plant.

“It is one of 72,576 packs produced on that day of 36g Lay’s Portuguese Peri-Peri prawn flavour. This is the only query we have received related to a suspected underweight pack,” said Pepsico.

It added it has strict controls in place to ensure its products are always up to standard.

Testing 100 bags of Lay’s

To test this claim, MyBroadband bought 100 bags of Lay’s 36-gram chips.

To ensure a good spread for the test, the following was put in place:

  • The chips were purchased in batches from Checkers, Pick n Pay, Spar, and Clicks over two days.
  • Multiple flavours were purchased.
  • No hand-weighing or “pre-checks” were conducted on the chips — we simply put multiple bags into our shopping basket and paid.

We then took the 100 bags of chips to our office and weighed each of them using a kitchen scale that is accurate to within one gram.

Of the 100 bags, 97 were either at the stated weight of 36 grams or above it. Three packs — or 3% of the test batch — were underweight by 1–2 grams.

It should be noted that several packs were overweight by 4 grams or more.

The test substantiates Pepsico’s statement that our 25-gram bag of Lay’s chips was a rare occurrence.

Photos of underweight bags

Photos of the three underweight bags are shown below.

Table of results

The table below details the findings of the test.

Lay’s 36-gram Chips
Number Flavour Actual Weight
1 Salted 40g
2 Salted 35g
3 Salted 39g
4 Salted 39g
5 Salted 39g
6 Salted 40g
7 Salted 37g
8 Salted 38g
9 Salted 38g
10 Salted 40g
11 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 39g
12 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 40g
13 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 40g
14 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 39g
15 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 38g
16 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 37g
17 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 39g
18 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 39g
19 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 38g
20 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 38g
21 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 40g
22 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 36g
23 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 37g
24 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 42g
25 Brazilian Spicy Salsa 39g
26 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 40g
27 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 37g
28 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 38g
29 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 39g
30 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 34g
31 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 39g
32 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 38g
33 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 38g
34 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 39g
35 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 39g
36 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 37g
37 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 39g
38 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 39g
39 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 38g
40 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 39g
41 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 38g
42 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 40g
43 Japanese Yakitori Chicken 38g
44 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 39g
45 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 39g
46 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 40g
47 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 42g
48 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 41g
49 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 41g
50 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 39g
51 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 37g
52 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 37g
53 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 37g
54 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 39g
55 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 37g
56 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 38g
57 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 39g
58 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 40g
59 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 39g
60 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 39g
61 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 36g
62 Caribbean Onion & Balsamic Vinegar 36g
63 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
64 Spring Onion & Cheese 40g
65 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
66 Spring Onion & Cheese 40g
67 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
68 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
69 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
70 Spring Onion & Cheese 38g
71 Spring Onion & Cheese 38g
72 Spring Onion & Cheese 38g
73 Spring Onion & Cheese 40g
74 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
75 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
76 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
77 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
78 Spring Onion & Cheese 40g
79 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
80 Spring Onion & Cheese 39g
81 Spring Onion & Cheese 41g
82 Salted 38g
83 Salted 40g
84 Salted 40g
85 Salted 41g
86 Salted 39g
87 Salted 34g
88 Salted 40g
89 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 37g
90 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
91 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
92 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 38g
93 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
94 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
95 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
96 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
97 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 38g
98 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
99 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 39g
100 Sweet and Smoky BBQ 41g

Pepsico comment

MyBroadband contacted Pepsico for comment, and the company reiterated that it has strict controls to ensure it meets the required standards within its snack production facilities.

“In this case, it is SANS 458 of 2011 that applies, specifically: Tolerances permitted for the accuracy of measurements of products (including pre-packaged products) in terms of legal metrology legislation,” a Pepsico spokesperson said.

The company explained that several processes are standard on its production line, including:

  • A quality team that conducts hourly checks on a random selection of 10 packs off the line to ensure weight consistency.
  • Scales are calibrated bi-annually by an external laboratory to ensure accuracy.
  • Case checkers inspect random cases hourly for the total weight of the case.
  • Every four hours, there is a quality ‘wall’ run that checks the processing quality (flavour, breakage of each chip etc.) and the packaging quality (seals on packs, weight, barcodes, etc.).
  • The senior quality team conducts random checks throughout each shift to verify each of the above checks.
  • There is a full verification run each time there is a flavour change on the production line.

Pepsico said it monitors against the tolerances specified by SANS 458.


Now read: We tried all four PRIME drink flavours Checkers sells

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Recommended

Share this article
We weighed 100 bags of Lay’s chips — This is how many were underweight