You pick up a can of Sam’s Choice Cola and you can’t help think that it will not taste very well. Is it the name, the can or the fact that you can buy about 4 cases for around $3? Yesterday I bought Athenos Hummus Original Flavor. Green ring on the lid with creamy hummus image. I also had to match this hockey game snack with the accompanying Athenos Original Flavor Pita Chips. The similarly colored bag has a jumbo sized chip on the front as it seems to whisper; eat me now. As the Hawks score a goal, I reach for inside the bag for the largest hummus holding chip I can find without looking. Good, a few remain, before I have to grab four or five together to piece a full dipping chip. The dip is in a wide enough container that allows a king sized dip without dropping any precious hummus. This is no regular dipping sauce here, this is hummus. I think that eating a full container is healthier than a small bag of Doritos. It is the Mediterranean diet. You can smell the Aegean Sea and hear the sounds of the waves crashing off the shore. No wait, the dog got into the garbage can, focus man…. Are the Hawks in a power play?
The identification of an image with a product is no more closely related than its package, and food is no exception. We are initially influenced by the packaging of food products. In five seconds, a consumer’s eyes are drawn to a product and a feeling is conveyed. Research suggests that 70% of all purchases are done at the store level.1 The decision of the food producer is to choose what imprint to leave on the buyer. The packaging of the food product speaks to us at an emotional level. The impression left on us is; premium, healthy, spicy, adventurous, value. An opinion will be formed; hummus makes us feel healthy or a super-premium ice cream treat is a rich indulgence. The initial impression having been made, now other factors influence the buyer’s decision, such as price or family need. The packaging, however, can set the tone for the product’s perception and make a lasting connection with the consumer. That is a powerful tool to influence a purchase.