Anesthetic packaging conceals the real journey of our food products, in turn encouraging us to unknowingly contribute to the everyday apocalypse of unethical practices. Guilty Pleasures is a satirical line of upscale whole food products that confronts consumers with the weight of their choices beyond nutrition, through packaging that remains anesthetic yet hides nothing.
Branding, Package Design
Traditional food packaging adds another degree of separation between consumers and the various unsustainable and unethical issues in food production by revealing only the desired, and sometimes even falsified, benefits of each item. Guilty Pleasures directly states the negative impacts of purchasing the products yet encourages consumers to do so solely for the health benefits for themselves.
It's not only junk food that can be guilty. Products in the Guilty Pleasures line include cashews, almonds, eggs, and Arabica coffee beans.
Each Guilty Pleasures product presents the nutrition facts next to a message about the practices that went into producing it.
Guilty Pleasures began as a luxury food brand, stemming from the idea that the "guilt" in guilty pleasures usually comes from expensive, high quality items. I had the idea to take ordinary, healthy produce items and make the packaging as fancy and kitschy as possible to make people question why these foods would be guilty. Examples include packaging eggs like chocolates, and trail mix (various nuts + cranberries) in individual jars as caviar.
The final line up of products was decided based on my research of the different products. I am aware that sustainable practices do exist, and so I specifically targeted foods by location, such as California almonds, in order to directly connect consumers to the food supply chain.
My idea shifted from luxury foods when I realized there were other ways to show novelty and kitschiness without simply copying existing packaging. This manifested best in the egg packaging, which is meant to look visually appealing and show off the aesthetic quality of the eggs, while being entirely impractical for transportation and storage due to the delicate eggs being completely exposed.
© Benya Sutyanyong 2022