Any consumer who opens a bag of potato or corn chips (or crisps in the UK) knows there is no time to waste to enjoy or share them. The convenience life span of chips is limited: it is the shelf or storage life and a very limited time once outside the bag. Many technologies converge to generate the desired effect as a black box, not only of the packaging but also of the chips themselves. The concept of paratext can be applied to printed messages on the package, including the brand name and other texts like advertising (epitexts), which can be expanded into the concept of parafood. These concepts help to discuss technological developments and interpret why this has recently become a negotiation zone for co-creation (see the Do us a flavor campaigns). They are symptoms of changing relations between production, research and development, marketing, and consumption. This paper pays special attention to back stories, underdog brand biographies and narratives about origin. The concept of brandwidth is introduced to sensitize about the limits of combining different stories about chips. A recent brand biography, a family history and a cookery book are used to discuss the phenomenon of cooking with Fritos. Together with the concepts of parafood, brandwidth and black boxes, more reflection and dialogue about the role of history and heritage in marketing put new challenging perspectives on the agenda.
- Brand effect