The fast-paced lives brought to us by developments and shifts in society demand changes in lifestyle. We do not have time to enjoy long and leisurely meals. The solution? Fast food. Food is one of the basic things that we need to survive. And to make sure that we manage to get good food in our quick-paced lives, the concept of fast food introduce.
You might not guess, but the burgers, shakes, fries and chicken wings, etc., which you’re eating right now, are part of a multibillion-dollar industry. And it is growing every single day. So, where does fast food packaging fit into the mix?
Why do we need packaging?
The basic purpose of all packaging is to protect, preserve and present any item wrapped in it. And when it comes to food, we need this packaging to play its role. Food is perishable and requires better wrapping than most products. Takeaway food packaging is one of the most colorful and functional packaging available in the market. Why is that so?
Fast food is one of the most shifting and competitive industries on the planet. We have big players like McDonald’s and millions of smaller players. To differentiate the product and present it in a way that appeals to your eyes and your taste buds, they need to focus on their packaging.
Impact of packaging on taste
There is no solid, scientific reason why attractive cardboard food packaging helps whet our appetite. Yet, it is a widely held belief and is greatly focused on by these food companies.
We all see those fast-food ads on social media. And what is the first thing that strikes us about the ad?
The presentation of the food. And what does that presentation serve to imply? The taste and quality of the food. It is a simple formula. We will always prefer to eat something which looks good for eating—the visual aspect of the food matters just as much as the taste. Ask any chef, and they will tell you the same thing.
And that is what fast food companies know. They aim to present their burgers, doners, and falafels in colorful and beautifully designed cardboard food boxes. They know that we will attach value to the product based on how it looks. We all have been there: looking at vivid and aesthetic fast-food packaging and thinking just how tasty its contents would be.
So, why does food look more delicious in good packaging? Because we attach value to the food based on the way it is presented. And the only way to attach value to the food is to imagine its taste. It is our basic instinct.
The only reason these fast food companies spent so much effort on perfecting their custom food boxes is that they know just how important they are. Not only for packaging the product, but to present it as well. Manufacturers use some strategies to make us believe that food is more delicious. And all of them are implemented through these very boxes.
- They make the boxes look convenient and an easy solution to get food. 67% of Americans prefer convenience over health. The compact boxes help make you believe that the contents are tasty and a perfect substitute for proper meals.
- They use colors that help to trigger your appetite. Ever notice how most of these boxes are red and yellow? These colors trigger the release of ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. And when you are hungry, a box of fast food is the most gourmet dish you can get your hands on.
- They make these boxes validate your choice. What does that mean? The packaging tells you that you have made the right decision to eat that particular food. That is why custom-made paper food boxes have phrases like “you look wonderful today” or “wouldn’t get this taste anywhere else.” These phrases and words are set to attract the attention of the consumer. The concept of the “happy meal” and other such types of boxes are prevalent. You will attach value to your choice of that particular food. It is a subconscious factor, which makes the food look even tastier and worth it.
These are some of the reasons you always think that fast food is delicious before you even taste it. The next time you walk in any Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, or Hardees, look at the packaging in which your meal is presented. You will notice all of these factors and feel yourself appreciating the taste of the meal even more.