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Product Packaging is Getting Painted Black

Everything from ice cream to shampoo to beer has been painted black lately. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, some marketers say black’s popularity is a reaction to the continued lackluster economy, which has consumers gravitating to lower-priced items. Black subtly conveys “premium,” they say.

“The use of black has really exploded,” says Mike Cecil, senior brand manager of Renuzit air freshener from Henkel AG’s Dial Corp. “It’s about finding new ways to signal affordable luxury.”

From soup to shampoo, products around the supermarket are sporting black packages, which marketers say send a subtle signal of 'premium.' -- F. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal

People want premium products so long as they don’t cost too much, says Pat McGauley, vice president of innovation at Anheuser-Busch. Consumers are saying, “I can’t drive a high-end car but I can drink a slightly more premium beer without breaking the bank.”

The use of black is especially striking for Pantene, which has relied on white for its packages for so long. People inside P&G even sometimes use the phrase “wall of white” to refer to Pantene’s territory in the shampoo section.

Do the colors of the packaging affect the products you purchase?

Image: Wall Street Journal

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