Packaging: Enticing or misleading?
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Packaging: Enticing or misleading?

  • 12 May 2015
  • By: Dennis Favier

The label on a packaged food product is the perfect place for manufacturers to communicate with their consumers. Ideally, a manufacturer wants to use that space to entice the consumer: buy me! However, food producers are required by food labelling laws to inform consumers what is inside the packaging.

Dutch consumer watchdog Foodwatch is now calling for an extension to the law as a more effective deterrent to misleading claims on food packaging. I’m not sure whether even more rules are the right solution, but I must admit that labels often display utter rubbish in an attempt to make the packaged product seem tastier, healthier or more sustainable than it actually is.

Take the fruit juice category, for example. The words ‘freshly squeezed’ are shamelessly printed on the labels of many pasteurised fruit juices, while others display images of exclusive or exotic fruits despite them accounting for only a very small percentage of the overall product. Similar examples can be found in virtually every supermarket category. Critical consumers are increasingly seeing through such ploys, and they are sharing their knowledge on social media. As a manufacturer, you run the risk of being cast aside before you know it.

Honesty really is the best policy. The only way to market future-proof products successfully is to ensure that they are based on honesty and integrity – not only extrinsically (packaging and advertising) but also intrinsically (the packaged product itself).

Dennis Favier is a professional Food Designer and Creative Director at innovation company TOP BV and translates technological innovations into interesting applications.

Source: © Karin Jonkers