Crisp Packet Colours 2

Much to our surprise one of the most searched items on our blog last month was the one relating to crisp packet colours. Indeed if you Google crisp packet colours you find the Adventures of Triple P comes up second.

This has caused us to give further thought to the issue of creating a European Commission committee to standardise crisp packet colours throughout the EU. We would suggest that the best Directorate in which to locate this unit would be Enterprise and Industry.


Colours for Homogenous International Potato Snacks packaging (CHIPS) Committee.


To produce standard colour schemes for the packaging of fried potato snacks (potato crisps/ Kartoffelchip/pommes chips/patatina fritta/patata a la inglesa etc.) ensuring that colour schemes of packaging relate to and identify the flavour of the snack.

Key Aims

In a multi-lingual Europe, where people travel from country to country more regularly than at any time in history, the importance to travellers, who may not speak or read the language of the country they are in, to be able to identify the flavour of the crisps that they buy is critical. Crisps are an important snack food that can be purchased in a wide variety of outlets particularly when travelling (airports, bus stations, railway stations, ferry terminals etc) and time is often short. Quick and easy decisions on which crisps to buy will: stop confused consumers hesitating and thereby missing their transport or worse still, not buying snacks at all and thereby failing to take in adequate nutrition. Lately, particualrly in the UK, accepted standards have not been followed by a major manufacturer causing confusion amongst consumers. In cases such as this it is important that the European Commission establishes a committe to ensure EU wide standardisation.


Host City

In order to spread European Union groups throughout the enlarged EU invitations to host the CHIPS committee will be welcomed from the following pre-selected cities: Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Prague and Budapest.

Location within Host City

Due to the importance of personal interview research surveys a location in a World Heritage designated part of the city (which will provide a good cross section of international survey subjects) will be necessary.

Supporting facilities

Adequate hotels must be available for visiting European Commission, industry and national government officials. The CHIPS committee recommends the Leading Hotels of the World chain as providing a stress-free environment and additional meeting and research facilities as required. For example: will packaging colours stand out sufficiently in the bright light of a swimming pool area?

In order to ensure the participation of senior industry figures adequate entertainment options should be available to visitors. Do you have: an opera house, a concert hall, a sports stadium, an art gallery, a venue where women dance around on poles? Furthermore can any of these women be easily hired to entertain committee visitors at short notice? Do they offer other services? Please note that potato snack samples must not be offered as inducements.

Initial Committee staff

Committee Chairman

This appointment has already been made. The chosen individual has experience of chairing national government committees, does not eat potato snacks for dietary reasons, has a primarily visual approach and has worked in all of the pre-selected cities.

Additional Staff

The Committee will be exempt from equal opportunity legislation. The Chairman will, however choose staff on completely objective criteria. Because of the negative health connotations of potato snacks staff working for the Chairman will be required to have a waist measurement of less than 60cms. This requirement does not extend to the Chairman who must demonstrate a sympathetic image to potato snack manufacturers.

Personal Assistant to the Chairman (2 appointments).

To provide various personal services. Must be prepared to accompany the chairman on extensive international travel. Must have experience in identifying key hotels and restaurants across the whole of Europe.

Head of Research Eastern Europe
Head of Research Western Europe
Head of Research Mediterranean

Main role is to buy potato snacks at random locations in all areas across Europe in first year to assess brands and packaging colour distribution. Chairman will accompany research expeditions to key tsurvey areas (South of France, Mediterranean islands, Alpine regions etc)


Air-conditioned (to preserve samples) cars of EU manufacture are required.


Speed is more important than capacity. Fast enough to be able to take advantage of no speed limit zones in Germany when crossing from Western Europe to Eastern Europe. Large carrying capacity is not a factor. Accompanying PAs will have to restrict themselves to small bag holding very lightweight clothing. Suggested marques: Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche. Note: no French cars are deemed appropriate.


Suggested marques: BMW, Alfa Romeo, SAAB, Audi, Jaguar. Note: no French cars are deemed appropriate.

Committee Workplan

Year 1

Collect samples of potato snacks from every country in the European Union. Visit manufacturers. Produce visual database of packaging.

Year 2

1 Residents of the European Union and
2 Visitors from outside the EU,
regarding what correlation there is between taste and colour of packaging

Research historic packaging colour choices made by manufacturers.

Year 3

Begin colour/flavour allocation process. Conduct tests throughout the EU for stakeholder feedback. Create advertising campaign inviting feedback.

Year 4 and onwards

Publish standards and set up regulatory and enforcement units for ongoing control. Design uniforms of enforcement officers.

Due to the important nature of the committee an appropriate budget has been set:


Chairman: €750,000 pa plus expenses
Chairmans Office: €180,000 pa
Research Unit: €450,000 pa
Support staff: €100,000

Office Accomodation

Rent: €250,000 pa
Office furniture and decoration: € 250,000 (year one only)


Cars: €900,000 amortised over three years
Hotels and other travel: €700,000 pa

Total €2,980,000 pa
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