Anyone that’s ever attempted to open a packet of chips in a quiet room knows the struggle is so, so real.
Munching on chips – whether it’s at the cinema, watching Netflix or in an important business meeting (guilty) – is never the number one option if you’re after a subtle snack.
But it turns out that there’s an actual reason behind why packets rustle so irritatingly loud, and why every bite into the chips themselves seems as loud as a door slamming.
It’s all about perception.
A recent study by professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, Charles Spence, got participants to munch on chips while wearing headphones in what he called a “sonic taste” experiment.
According to The Sun, those that were unable to hear the familiar rustle and crunch reported the snacks tastes “more stale and spongy.”
“The sound of the food matters,” Spence reported. “The sound of the packaging matters and atmospheric sounds matter.”
That means that chip packets are designed to be purposefully noisy to ‘raise our expectations’ of the crunch to come.
"The sounds of the packaging in which a food is experienced – think the rattle of the crisps packet, or the pop of the champagne cork – can also influence our enjoyment of what comes next too," the professor wrote.
"Whenever we hear [those sounds], certain expectations automatically come to mind."
So, the loudness of the chip packet has nothing to do with preservation of the delicious snack inside, and everything to do with marketing.
"Some marketing person thought, 'It's a noisy food, it's got to have the right expectations for the packaging'," Spence concluded.