Consumer Craving Vs Food Label Warning
The enumeration of amount of salt, sugar, artificial colour and flavour enhancers on packaging – coupled with dire warnings about the consequences of excessive consumption of a range of common foodstuff – never really scare too many people off. Therefore the plan by Mars Foods to caution buyers not to eat some of its Italian sauces and pastas “more than once a week” promises interesting revelations about human psychology. Buyers generally regard content tables and health prognostications with varying degrees of interest and scepticism. But when a producer itself implies that certain items can be detrimental to health – albeit in large quantities – will the usual human insouciance prevail? The company is clearly hoping its good intentions will make grateful consumers flock to the many other products under its umbrella that will be marked all right for everyday use, presumably with the same altruistic zeal. It could just as well result in consumers getting spooked by such disarming honesty, leading them to look askance at anything sold in jars or packets by that company or any other. It may be farfetched, however, to predict a time when a bottle of carbonara sauce will be seen as the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes– complete with scary pictorial warnings – but consumed with the same informed disregard.