Giving food a wash of green

The term ‘greenwashing’ refers to the act of deceiving consumers into thinking a company’s product and policies are more environmentally friendly than they actually are. This can be done by giving the packaging a face lift, using more ‘green’ materials and by that I mean more environmentally friendly rather than the colour green. A lot of companies try to green wash by steering away from corporate typefaces and colours and instead replacing them with fresh hand written brush type and vibrant earthy colours to give the appearance of a fresh clean brand.

“Jucy Lu is a cold-pressed juice and health food shop that uses premium organic ingredients to provide necessary provisions to replace fast food with convenient healthy food. Jucy Lu does this by creating products that will not only be beneficial for you, but will also encourage you to live better.”



El Autobus, Jucy Lu

In our lecture we looked at Anna Kealey’s Eye Magazine article, ‘Natural Fantasy’, Kealey talks about a number of companies that make use of greenwashing. One of the companies being Burger King. Burger king being a huge fast food company, we are well aware its not seen as a particularly healthy option that will provide us with fresh ingredients. However when they went under the knife and were redesigned by Crispin Porter and Bogusky, the company was given a much fresher and healthier look . The new brown paper bag is almost used as an illusion to emphasise the vegetables, the freshest element of their product, thus pushing the unhealthier elements of bread, beef patty and cheese to camouflage into the background. “As well as implying an environmental ethos, brown also aligns the product to the natural or organic food market.” (Kealey, 2014).



Now we are seeing such a change to organic and pleasing materials and colours, are we being led down the rabbit hole? “Treehugger” online forum has written an article aptly named “Has the ‘Organic’ Label become the biggest Greenwashing campaign?” making me wonder if these tricks that food companies and brands are using is really all a clever ploy to convince us we really are eating healthier like ‘Jucy Lu’ or that we are simply eating the same product we have always eaten but being fooled into thinking we are a new fresh healthy person by the new ‘organic’ brown paper bag like ‘Burger King?’



As a group we looked at the packaging of crisps and how you can be led by nice design. I looked at ‘Kettle chips’ and ‘Nik Naks.’ Just by looking at the packaging we get the impression that the ‘Kettle chips’ are probably more expensive and higher quality. From their fresh white matte packet to their stylish gold foiled type, we get this feel of substance and an almost pure outcome. We can tell the target audience is meant to be adults and perhaps be the kind of product they would put out for nibbles at a gathering. Whereas, looking at the packaging of the ‘Nik Naks’ instantly we get an entirely different feel. The packet is somewhat garish with its colours and seems to have a very fun nature to its design rather than being something refined. From its typeface to its background of a brick wall, we are meant to be fed the feeling this is cheaper and not necessarily aimed at us. These types of fun packaging with bold colours and a glossy packet are aimed at kids.

However, the implications are not always correct, although we were right to think the ‘Kettle chips’ were more expensive, they were not of a ‘higher’ quality but of a fattier quality. The fat contents in our sleek friends the ‘Kettle chips’ was 13g per 100g pack (not so sleek on your waist.) Whereas our slightly tacky brightly designed ‘Nik Naks’ held only 9.5g of fat content in their 100g pack.


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