Marketing Product Packaging

Sometimes marketers stick with the basic packaging ideas for years, regardless of whether they are using the best possible design. For each of the following products, discuss what (if any) problems you have with the package of the brand you use. Why do you think marketers stick with the outdated packaging for each product?

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  1. Dry cereal
  2. Laundry detergent
  3. Frozen orange juice
  4. Gallon of milk
  5. Potato chips
  6. A loaf of bread

Now think of at least one way the package could be improved. Describe your improvement and explain why you think it is an improvement. How would the marketer be affected if they adopted your packaging idea(s)?

…and finally, some packaging ethics to consider…

Suppose that a company knows that a particular snack or beverage is typically consumed in a single sitting such as a 20 ounce bottle of soda, a small bag of chips, or a candy bar. Is it ethical for that company base the product’s nutritional information (on the label) on multiple servings in the package? For example, a 20 ounce Coca-Cola is one serving and the label lists the calories as 240 per bottle on the nutritional label AND on the front of the bottom. If Coke decided to change the serving size to 10 ounces and make it two servings per bottle, they could state that Coke was just 120 calories per serving on the front of the bottle. Would this be ethical? Why or why not?

What about larger packages that use unrealistically small serving sizes, such as a package of cookies that bases nutritional information on a single cookie (like anyone actually eats just one cookie *smile*)? If these companies then overtly market something like the calories per serving (e.g., “just 80 calories per serving”), is this ethical?