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Minty Illusions

Original Mint Packaging

Look tasty don’t they?  I actually prefer the plain mint and chocolate ones however these came as an unexpected gift in the mail.  Along with a hilarious pint glass and a book on Physics called “The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality” I will probably write a post about the book when I finish it.  Back to the mints.  Judging from the packaging this appears to be a package full of mints from top to bottom, full of minty deliciousness.

See the truth about marketing, packaging and deception after the jump.

Mints Unwrapped

Upon unwrapping the mints, I was amused by the packaging.  It seems that these are very fragile mints and need a rather large mint protection system.  There certainly is a large amount of cardboard to protect the mints from any mistreatment during shipping.  After further consideration and opening a second package of these mints, I noticed that one cannot see the cardboard through the packaging.  Clever deception or ideal packaging for product protection?


The mint protector is 2 mints wide

I decided, while showing this packaging anomaly to the Wife, that I should figure out the mint to packaging ratio.  I wanted to know how many mints I was being deceived out of.  I determined that the mint protection system was 2 mints wide.  Top and bottom each column of mints was missing 4 mints total.  4 mints X 4 columns = 16 mints.

Each package of mints has 4 columns of 7 mints for a total of 28 mints.  So the package looks like it has  16 + 28 mints, 44 mints.  This seems shocking but then I remember what a cereal box or chip bag looks like.  It is about 50% packaging as well.  The mints are 63% mints and 37% packaging.  37 PERCENT!!! It actually seems worse when you do the math.

This mint thing is a great example of perception vs reality and how marketing attempts to trick the mind.  Sure it would be fair to package these mints with a buffer to prevent shipping damage but these things are not eggs.  Having eaten my share of Andes Mints, these are pretty tough candy.  A simple sheet of cardboard would have been more than enough.

Thinking about what it is we purchase, and perceived value versus real value is the first step in hacking the reality the marketers are trying to create for us.  Thinking for a second about it breaks through the shiny packaging and marketing to show the cardboard taking up valuable mint space.

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