Hey Angels and Alphas,
After decades upon decades of marketing research and analysis, both people and companies know that packaging makes a massive impact on whether or not a consumer decides to buy a certain food.
But you as a shopper have it the toughest. It can be very difficult to make healthy and productive nutritional choices when added sugar is hidden under countless different names, and food labels are nothing less than overwhelming and confusing.
That’s why it’s important to understand marketing is a science that is used to persuade people in buying. Hence, it’s essential that you as a consumer are mindful of what’s being marketed, and just as importantly, what’s not marketed on different food packages.
A short trip down to the grocery store is getting more overwhelming, confusing, and misleading, and the chance that what you’re buying is secretly sabotaging your plans to eat healthy is getting bigger by the day.
However, if you go the extra mile and learn a little bit more about the psychology behind different food packaging tactics and the ways packaging gets your attention… you as a consumer will have a much easier time making productive, informed decisions on what you need to be stocking up on – and what you need to be consuming if you want to prioritize weight loss.
That’s why today, we’re here to talk about 3 of the biggest food packaging strategies that brands use to push us toward their products. And while we’re not blaming any company or organization for using packaging strategies, we’re simply here to educate the consumer on what’s best for them, their health, and their goals.
#1 PACKAGING STRATEGY NUMBER 1… SHELF PLACEMENT!
Next time you’re taking a stroll through the cereal aisle, pay very close attention to what’s eye level for children and what’s eye level for you.
Usually, the bright, high-sugar cereals with fun cartoon characters on the boxes will be at eye level for children. And that’s not an accident. Studies show that we create our buying behaviors at such a young age, and we learn to basically associate colors and characters to certain feelings.
Most often, the healthier cereal products are purposefully grouped together toward the end of the aisle rather than getting the prime real estate. But this concept goes way beyond the breakfast aisle. It’s everywhere! Bigger brands pay for better positioning throughout stores and grocery aisles so their products are at eye-level for their target audiences.
#2 PACKAGING STRATEGY NUMBER 2… COLORS!
Color psychology is one of the most powerful tools in food and nutrition marketing.
Colors help us communicate ideas and feelings, and certain colors are used to create associations in our mind, as well as to signify or induce them.
- Black and gold is luxurious
- Yellow stimulates the appetite and is associated with happy feelings and good moods
- Red creates urgency and has a strong association with higher sales
- Blue is calming and associated with foods related to the Mediterranean diet
- Green is natural, organic, vegan or vegetarian, or eco-friendly
Next time you’re in the grocery store, I want you to take a moment and pay attention to the various colors on the aisles. Notice how they appeal to you and the thoughts and emotions that surround these foods. You might notice that you yourself are drawn to specific colors, and this can help you learn a lot about yourself and your buying decisions.
#3 PACKAGING STRATEGY NUMBER 3… STRATEGIC WORDPLAY!
Companies and marketers are used to utilizing free-from claims that appeal to the nutritional, environmental, and ethical goals of shoppers.
That’s why you see so many “vegan” “gluten-free” “organic” or “low-fat” options on labels. Other options include no sugar, non-GMO, no preservatives, you get the idea.
These labels can help us just as much as they can mislead us. They can help you identify the foods that fit your lifestyle choices, but sometimes, they don’t tell the whole story.
For example, just because the front of a food label promotes claims such as “high in omega 3-s” or “high in fiber,” this doesn’t mean that they don’t also contain high amounts of dangerous trans fats or added sugars.
Other nutrition-related labels such as keto-friendly of gluten-free may also help support the individuals who prefer certain dietary restrictions, but this does not mean that they will ultimately benefit healthy consumers who are looking for better food choices.
All of these claims impact purchasing decisions and they play key roles in what, when, and how much we eat.
If you take one product, place it in two packages, and put “high in fiber” on one of them, science shows us that people will gravitate to the one that includes the extra promise that’s often sought-after by people looking to lose weight.
Especially if you’re someone trying to eat well and stay healthy; you have to make sure you’re taking all of these considerations seriously.