Gone To The Pack Shot

DSCF8834AI shoot products every week in my studio, and in some cases the closest I ever get to the product inside the pack is the outside of the pack.

You see, some manufacturers have taken to sealing their boxes with foil tape that can neither be removed nor replaced – only cut. It is presumably to guarantee the buyer that no other human hand has touched their precious until they do. I take cynical amusement in this – the people who demand it make a telling commentary upon their home culture. Some of them are paranoid in any business transaction, and I think it because they frequently deal with themselves…

Well, all that aside, some boxes cannot be opened – so it is up to the makers to tell the world what is inside the box. Some do – they have a picture of the contents, a serial number, and in some cases a short technical summary. If they put a number on the outside in big letters it helps the sales staff find it amongst the other products.

In the supermarket this is also done to boost the appeal of the food inside the tin or packet. We’ve all seen the studio shots of the steaming soup or the wonderful spaghetti with the parsley garnish and the ” serving suggestion ” note that keeps the lawyers happy. These studio shots can be fairly fake, as there are any number of tricks to make foods look better on the outside than you find them to be on the inside. How interesting to stumble upon the very opposite…

The packet cover that you see was on a Woolworth’s Cottage Pie tray. The pie is quite nice – maybe not as spicy as I would make from scratch but good tasting nevertheless. It’s got veggies, meat, gravy, and a good layer of mashed potatoes on top. An hour in a the oven and there’s a winter dinner for 4 people. Thank you Woolies.

But who in hell took the pack picture and designed the graphics for it? The layout is chaotic, the colour choice is at once hard to read and unappealing, and the lighting of the food shot makes it look as though the pie has been burnt in the oven. The inclusion of the supposed ingredients doesn’t help because they all have their own disfiguring shadows, and the dirty spoon is a definite turn-off.

DSCF8835AAlso there is no need to put the same picture on the back – indeed a plain background would have let the cooking and nutrition information show far more clearly.

Well anyway, the pie tasted good, and we have another Woolies tray in there with sausage casserole.  We’ll eat it this week, but I am actually a little afraid to look at the wrapper before we bake it…


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