We have been pampered for decades with colorful packages. All we seem to care is what the brand is and is the package attractive. It looks like these are the two attributes to any product that is for sale on the shelves. The consumer is demanding it so we are getting what we are asking for. But no one seems to be interested in knowing what is inside the package, it’s quality nor it’s ingredients? Are we buying all products based on its cover or its camouflage? Yes we do. An assumption is an attractive packaging under a recognized brand name is top quality at a top price. We are willing to pay a premium for it in price. Who say’s so? It’s our assumption and perception of the product. Ad’s have a way of conditioning our minds. In short we are living in a conditioned society where we are told what to do, how to do it and what to buy and what not to buy. So as we are shown the same ad over and over again on all ad channels and venues, we start accepting it as a fact. Humans are so vulnerable in this sense.
Branding goes in and blends in with carefully designed packaging in order to attract or lure the customers to make the purchase. Completion of the sale is the ultimate goal of any package design. It’s a blank canvas. The designer has to find a way to fill in the space with the intention of luring us. So they will do what ever it takes to sell it to us by bringing us what we like. So a product may not be of the highest quality, but the coat that it wears will talk about that product on high regard. Billions of dollars are being spent on packaging these days and much more on advertisements to lure you into buying. So who cares about what’s inside? The answer is Nobody. Nobody questions it. Consumers have been conditioned to believe what they are told and never to question it. So as loyal followers we are sucked into the norm. So nutrition labels which we see printed on all these packaging do not seem to tell the real facts but it tells us of deceptive practices.
Namely, the word sugar could be substituted with and disguised under various different chemical names. A layman has no clue on what it is or what it means. More over the word Organic, natural etc has been used in all the products interchangeably and more commonly, that it has seemed to have lost its meaning and charm. If everything is natural, why are coloring agents, preservative, flavoring agents, shelf life extenders, and other chemicals disguised as natural ingredients present in it? Why not be upfront with it and present it in good faith to the public. The answer is it won’t sell.
Now there is a BIG difference between an attractive and well thought out packaging verses a simple not so complicated one. The first one says, I stand for quality and the second one says that I am cheaper. What would your mind tell you? Which one would you pick? There is a war going on inside you at this instant. You want the highest quality at the cheapest price. But what you pay is what you get sometimes. Highest price does not mean that it is of high quality and vice versa. Sometimes simplicity in packaging pays off with greater focus elected on quality of the product. So how do you judge and what do you believe in? Which product would you trust?
This is the problem World over. So we pick what we think is best based on its looks. Welcome to the mass market where price and quality are both cheap. The customer is happy and so is the manufacturer. Both have come to an agreement and each of them are getting what they want. So this has become the norm for the past few decades and is continuing to be accepted along the supply chain from the farm to the table. This flow is expected to stay it’s course. The flaw in the system is that we are both brainwashed and at the same time conditioned to buy “as is” and not to question anything. Since there is no plan B for the consumers, they start following the herd. Would you trust a stranger who has all good words for his product?
It looks like we would buy from him or her without even thinking due to the fact that’s the price you are willing to pay for the product. It’s your expected price. If the expected price was outside your range you would be backing off. So today we have no measure to test the quality of a product which is available to the consumer. To illustrate: There are two cauliflowers presented in front of you. One says Organic on it and the other one does not say anything on it. Both are exactly the same size, color and wight. How would you know which is which? But one costs 3 times the other. But on the other side, if both were exactly not what it is claimed as, would’t you be angry that you got cheated or taken advantage of? I would be. So we have accepted ourselves to blindly trust and believe in labels and packaging. In short we are willing to accept unconditionally what any stranger says. It’s the same analogy.
Now what if all manufacturers do away with packaging? Would you buy any of their products? Wouldn’t the products feel naked? Would you have trust in them? What if they cut the prices of all their products in half since they do not have associated the packaging costs? I guess most would. Quality has taken a back stand which the point of pricing is what is standing out everywhere. People are not willing to pay for quality even if it’s beneficial to their health and is proven to be healthy. But we are willing to buy cheap products for cheap prices even though we know that they are detrimental to our health.
Look around you. See the remains of those packaging. We are a use and throw society. We also do not trust products in the open that are without packaging. This is how loss of trust leads us to. ends up in GARBAGE. So why are we doing it ourselves? Time to build trust and start living in a package free society. Back in the days, packaging was non existent. Products were available for pickup at a store. It was hand wrapped with newspaper and strings. It did the job. There was no wastage. That newspaper and jute tine were biodegradable and was absorbed back into Earth. So why don’t we go back to our old civilized ways? Would we want to ? We have been spoiled with these colorful packages and our mind is conditioned to accept them as safe, which is a perception and gives out a false sense of security. So if we minus the package from the product, would we feel safe using the product? Keeping life simple is the key to saving ourselves and saving our Planet. The way we are heading, we will end up in the dump. Meaning we will be living in the midst of a garbage dump which are mostly comprised of plastic- which we know is non-biodegradable. So if we keep choosing to accept packaging on all our products, we will be forced to live among them all our lives.
I prefer to buy FRESH products from trusted sources with no packaging. The first thing that comes to my mind is the local farmer. Support them and they will support you. Because it’s their livelihood. Moreover you may develop a business relationship with them, learn from them about harvest times, what produce are available at certain times of the year and who knows you may even get a freebie once in a while. We need to support them,. By supporting them, they are supporting their families, giving us fresh produce in return, the community grows through their efforts and all of us will benefit from fresh and healthy produce year round. All this without fancy packaging and a ton of wasted garbage dumped right in our backyard.
The choice is yours. Consumers need to shun packaging in order to prevent waste and to protect our environment. Recycling is not the solution but prevention is. Why create waste in the first place. Then we do not have to clean up after the fact. Thereby our environment stays pristine.
Only you can do it. The less we consume the less we pollute. So you can be an aggressive consumer or a low key environmentalist.