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Aldi shopper's 'disappointing' find in chip bag: 'Ripped off'

We've all experienced the distinct disappointment of opening a chip bag only to find it seemingly half-full of air.

As the cost of living crisis continues to bite an Aussie shopper was left furious when she looked inside her pack of chips from Aldi only to find nearly half of the contents missing. Kelly Tranent felt "ripped off" after finding that nearly 100 grams of her salty snack were absent.

Tranent purchased the 230g packet of Aldi-branded Sprinters Chips at the Macquarie store in the Australian Capital Territory. After getting home and opening the $2.69 bag, she knew straight away she had been short-changed.

“My husband and I decided to check the weight of the chips because the bag seemed to have so much more air in it than usual,” she told Yahoo Finance.

Aldi shopper Kelly, a brunette woman with purple eyeshadow, and a split with a packet of chips poured into a scale to show the weight.
Kelly plans to continue purchasing the chips to investigate whether this is a consistent issue. (Source: Supplied.)

Have you been ripped off? Contact yahoo.finance.au@yahooinc.com

“As we opened it more than 2/3 of the bag was just air and looking at the chips at the bottom of the bag we thought that there’s no way it was 230g worth.

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“I weighed the bag with the chips in it and it was 157g and just the chips alone were 139g.”

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The packet does have an "e" next to the weight of the chips, which means it is an estimate, but Tranent said she wouldn't have expected the weight to be so different.

It’s not uncommon for large chip packets to be half-filled with air. It's actually nitrogen gas which help the chips last longer and taste better, known as “functional snack-fill”.

But she was "disappointed" by the lack of substance in the bag.

“Being a single-income family and trying to make ends meet, we shop at Aldi to try and save a bit of money. We get chips only on occasion and thought the Aldi packets were bigger than Coles and Woolies ones and cost so much less,” she said.

“I felt we weren’t getting our money's worth at all if we were getting almost 100 grams less than anticipated.”

Aldi chip packet
Despite the 230gram weight listed in the packet, it only contained 139 grams of chips, leaving the Aldi shopper feeling significantly ripped off. Source: Facebook

Tranent said she often shops at Aldi for the cheaper prices and generally has no issue, however, this seemed unfair.

“In this current economy, we are trying to save money and when we are essentially being ripped off with a lot less of products. It is very unfair and really feels like the stores don’t care about the price increases and then fewer products,” she said.

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An Aldi spokesperson did not comment on Tranent's experience when approached by Yahoo Finance but said that shoppers can return Aldi products that they are not satisfied with for a full refund or replacement.​​

Rigorous weight checks aren't infallible

Consumer expert Gary Mortimer told Yahoo Finance companies like Sprinters have rigorous weight checks throughout the manufacturing process, but some things do get missed.

“I suspect this is an isolated incident which would have taken place at the manufacturing stage and considering the volumes of potato chips that go through a factory, it’s not unreasonable to think that one or two packs might be considerably underweight,” he said.

“But these are often picked up at some point in the system because they do go over a weight plate and the manufacturers' process has a lot of checks and balances in place.”

Aldi chip packet
Sprinters chips are manufactured for Aldi Australia stores. (Source: Getty/Facebook)

The "e", which is known as the estimated sign, is widely used by countries in the European Union, Australia and South Africa. It indicates to consumers that the product has been packed in accordance with the Average Quantity System (AQS) which is implemented by the Australian Department of Industry Science and Resources.

Items packaged under this system have a “tolerable deficiency” amount to meet and the estimated weight must be within a certain amount. AQS guidelines state that “no pre-packaged article can have a shortfall greater than 5 per cent of the stated quantity”.

“Packers and importers have a duty to carry out sufficient checks to ensure that all batches of pre-packaged goods meet the legislative requirements for correct measurement,” a National Measurement Institute spokesman previously told Yahoo about the AQS.