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Taste, Smell, and Packaging

Old Candy Packaging

Bakers, bakeries, and pastry chefs are apt to concentrating their time and resources on the taste and smell of their creations (rightly so!) but often forget the third element: how their food looks. In a megalopolis like New York City, if you are on the hunt for French pastries, you can select from more than a dozen delightful cafes; in the mood for Japanese cheesecake? Several shops will cater to your good taste. If there are numerous places that can equally satisfy even the most discriminating sweet tooth, what is a baker to do? How can one differentiate herself from the other? One answer is “packaging.” Taking liberties with the term, “packaging” may not only mean the presentation of the wrapping that preserves the gold nugget, but the plating, the location of where it is presented (glass case, out in the open, eye-level, etc.), and the ambiance surrounding it. Does MarieBelle chocolates taste two-fold better than Jacques Torres? If not, then why can she charge almost doubly (and why do we cave to our cravings)? Packaging.

If you want to learn more about this fascinating phenomenon, a good place to start is by reading Dave Grager’s essay entitled “A Century of Candy Bars: An Analysis of Wrapper Design.” Can you think of any other differentiators?

Photo by crabbygobyebye.


Alice says on July 15th, 2005 at 6:45 pm:

Keep in mind that really nice packaging like wooden or leatherette boxes and can get expensive and can run up to 3.00 per item. That doesnt compare to a plastic bag tied with a bow.

alizinha says on July 16th, 2005 at 4:07 pm:

Does MarieBelle chocolates taste two-fold better than Jacques Torres?

Well, a little birdie told me that Jacques Torres MAKES MarieBelle’s chocolates, so hers can’t taste better than his since they ARE his.

In other words, yes, it’s all about the packaging.

Alice says on July 16th, 2005 at 5:36 pm:

tweet tweet…that IS interesting

shuna fish lydon says on July 16th, 2005 at 8:45 pm:

Childhood Memory

tag, you’re it! a meme about your favorite childhood food memories. I must say that this post inspired a particular memory!

Andrew says on July 16th, 2005 at 8:55 pm:

Which memory in particular? Right now, my favorite childhood food memory is spearing macaroni and cheese with a fork. Five macaronis to a fork, then stuffing it all in my mouth; all that fits for a seven-year-old. I can even remember the look of the packaging.

Shoshanna Loweinsfein says on July 17th, 2005 at 8:43 pm:

OMG! Andrew’s back!!! He’s alive!!!!

Kelli says on July 21st, 2005 at 10:59 pm:

Ha, ha. Yes Andrew is alive and very well. He has been busy working on a new venture

I asked Jacques Torres himself about the rumor that he supplies MarieBelle their chocolate. He said they used to, but no longer do. I wonder who makes it now??

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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