covering our community

Green does not mean go

Imagine walking down the candy car aisle in the grocery store. You want to get a high sugar burst snack but are also feeling a little guilty about placing too large a load of junk in your body. Lucky for you even candy bar wrappers can make you feel less guilty. Labels sprinkled across the surface indicate “low-fat”, “high-fiber”, and “.5% Calcium”!

While these are all great for easing your troubled conscience, there’s one label that will make you think that candy bar is not so unhealthy after all: a green label.

A 2013 study found that when consumers are presented with two food packages, one with a green label on the front and the other with a red label, the consumer will think the package with the green label is healthier, even though both labels contained the same calorie content.

Another part of the study found that not only would consumers rather buy the candy bar with the green label, they also perceive it as more healthy.

Consumers who are most likely to have this belief are the ones who “place high importance on healthy eating” (Jonathon Schuldt).

So if you’re walking down that candy aisle concerned about making a healthy choice, the color of a label is going to have a bigger influence on your decision than your knowledge about nutrition.

I hope this can be a wake-up call for many people who blindly let the packaging of products influence their purchasing power. It’s easy for an industry to slap on a label, hoping it will sell more.

Don’t just assume they’re doing it with your best interests at heart.

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