Canned Food Labels: What's The Difference?

Brian
February 9, 2012

What brand of vegetables do you buy? Green Giant? Del Monte? Libby's? It begs the question: Why do many people choose to buy brand-name vegetables at a greater cost than generic or store-brand vegetables? I can't imagine that Green Giant green beans are somehow superior to generic green beans. I'm not a food source or canning expert, but I find it difficult to believe that name-brand green beans are grown in better fields and conditions or are somehow genetically superior to generic green beans, or the green beans one can buy at a farmer's market. Sure, name-brand vegetables might be packed with more sodium or other flavor enhancers, but in the long run that would be a negative, not a positive, right? The reason I think many choose name-brand vegetables - other than social status (“OMG, I was at Lisa's last night, and do you know she buys generic green beans? The poor thing!”) - has to do with design. We are hardwired to buy the most visually attractive product, even when we can't actually see the product. Most of us buy vegetables based on the labels. It's interesting to note that many canned food labels don't even include photos of the food inside; most include a logo and an illustration, and maybe some sun rays so you know it's good and wholesome. February is National Canned Food Month, so I thought it would be fun to compare the labels for several major brands, discount brands, and yes, even the lowly generic vegetables. I'll use the same vegetable, green beans, for easier comparison. Which would you rather buy? Now you understand the power of great design.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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