fbpx Skip to content

Food Packaging and Perception

How labels and package designs change the way we think and the foods we choose.

Woman looking at food packaging

Beverage and food packaging can have a big impact on consumers’ perception of product healthfulness—and the likelihood they will place an item in their shopping carts.

An investigation entitled, I Believe It Is Healthy—Impact of Extrinsic Product Attributes in Demonstrating Healthiness of Functional Food Products, published in Nutrients, should catch the eye of manufacturers. A team of researchers used images of a ready-to-drink smoothie product to determine that the following food packaging attributes contribute to the perceived healthfulness of the beverage:

  • a “with natural ingredients” or “organic” claim (these were more credible than a specific health claim)
  • the claim “26 g protein per serving”
  • boasting about a nutrient level in the product
  • a nutrition claim such as “no added sugar”
  • a statement of domestic origin
  • a nutrition label that’s column-shaped instead of round or humanoid
  • white-blue or white-green label color (instead of white-red)

So ask yourself this: Would a bag of American-made “all-natural” and “sugar-free” potato chips—that trumpets its extra protein—and is all dressed up in healthy-looking white-green labeling be enough for you to buy in?

See also: Food Brand Names Change Perceptions



Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.

IDEAfit+
November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

Concerned about your place in the new fitness industry? We have 40 years of experience supporting pros just like you! Let’s create a new wellness paradigm together—IDEAfit+ is the extra edge you need. Once you team up with IDEA, be sure to take full advantage of all the benefits of membership.