The Wrapper Is Beautiful – April 6th

I went shopping this morning, and I was looking at the candy wrappers and wondered, if I couldn’t read the descriptions and didn’t know what the different brands tasted like, which I would pick.  None of them really look like food from the outside, but they still make you want to hold them.  I got back, and started looking around my room for pretty labels.

They’re deceptive, they’re important, I’m sure there’s a lot of psychology involved in this sort of visual marketing, and I think it’s a really interesting art form.  I bought the packet of Good&Plenty last week just because I thought it was pretty (I’d never tasted or even seen it before, and I don’t really intend to open it).  And I think it’s interesting that the products here that I find the most attractively packaged – other than the Good&Plenty, which I think is just darling and old-fashioned and very Robert Indiana-esque – are asian in origin and, I’m sure, design: Pocky, puppodums, Turkish tea and the black rice noodles.  I’ve often noticed the huge differences between modern English and American designs – greeting cards and wrapping papers are some of the most obvious ones – but hadn’t really thought about it much beyond that, and certainly hadn’t considered its impact in food marketing.

So: how much impact does a food’s wrapping have to do with how we enjoy it?  Chocolate, though it is the most sacred, erotic and generally lovely foodstuff known to man, is not always a very beautiful food.  I’d be more likely to reach for that lovely bright orange Trader Joe’s box than for a big brown block with little lumps of hazelnuts poking out of it.  I think that beautiful labels allow us to view our food in a more romantic manner… if we are what we eat, why not eat something pretty?

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One Response to The Wrapper Is Beautiful – April 6th

  1. William Popov says:

    A very good point Imogen. I think that when shopping, many Americans are influenced, if not deceived by the labels and wrappers on food containers without even knowing it. I’m sure there is an entire industry dedicated to this.

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