While out shopping, I was struck by the plethora of items that are packaged with seasonal themes.  It is one thing for manufacturers to offer seasonal or holiday flavors (such as the wildly-popular pumpkin spice), but I wonder why others feel that they need to embellish the packaging without changing the product.  

Are fall leaves on cases of water supposed to entice me to purchase that brand over another, even though the water and the individual bottles are exactly the same as they were in July?  Do pictures of footballs on cases of beer matter? Will sales of M&Ms increase when the same product is put in harvest colored bags?

It seems that recently time-sensitive packaging has infiltrated the supermarkets.  I suspect that some psychological research determined that consumers are more likely to buy something that appears new.  An increase in sales would have to outweigh the downside that specialized packages would make the product appear to be out of date more quickly (do you want to buy pumpkins on your plastic bags in December?).  

Before you just grab for that package because it is the color of the season, think about whether you would normally purchase it.  Look past the package and see the unchanged product inside of it.  

A fancy outside shouldn’t be an incentive to purchase an ordinary inside.  It’s advice that applies to more than groceries!       

— beth triplett

Thanks to Amy for triggering the observation.

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