How Package Design and Packaged-Based Marketing Claims Lead to Overeating

41 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2012

Date Written: June 13, 2012


Because packaging reaches consumers at the critical moments of purchase and consumption, it has become an important marketing tool for food manufacturers and retailers. In this paper, I first review how the marketing, health and nutrition claims made on packaging create “health halos” and make foods appear healthier than they are, leading to higher consumption yet lower perceived calorie intake. I then show how packaging design (cues, shapes and sizes) bias people’s perception of quantity and increase their preference for supersized packages and portions that appear smaller than they are. Finally, I examine the evidence on the effectiveness of public policies designed to limit the biasing effects of packaging on food perceptions and preferences.

JEL Classification: I12, I18, M31, M37, M39, M83, Q18, L66

Suggested Citation

Chandon, Pierre, How Package Design and Packaged-Based Marketing Claims Lead to Overeating (June 13, 2012). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2012/61/MKT. Available at SSRN: or

Pierre Chandon (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex

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