Posted Jun 19, 2011 by in Random Thoughts

Desiring Design: Why I Paid $6 For Two Little Chocolates

Rocky road clusters are clumps of marshmallows and nuts covered in chocolate. I don’t like rocky road at all, so you might be wondering why I bought a box, or even more crazily… why I would pay $6 for a box of two pieces of rocky road.

Easy. It’s the packaging. The confections are slightly over-packaged (there is too much paper waste for two chocolates), but I was still intrigued. Looking more like a gift box of soap or stationery set targeted to females who appreciate nice things (and gifts), I took the bait and picked it up.

The chocolates are from Droga Confections, and this box of Rebel Rocky Road sells for $4.95, but because it was selling in a typical LA-style cute/alternative/artisanal/hip market, it sold for $5.95. I’m not rich, but I do like beautiful little packages.

The feminine color combo is nice, but it was the typography that really caught my eye. The art deco-style typographic treatment playfully echoes the graphic elements around it. Secondarily, the pattern on the sides of the package complimented the color palette. When I picked up the box, I felt how inviting the feel was of the textured, uncoated paper label. The label is actually a slip case, and out slides the chocolate box, wrapped with the pattern print only partially on the cover, and leaving the rest of the box exposed in its kraft paper.

Droga makes their chocolates in small fresh batches, so there’s no preservatives and they get stale quick, as indicated by the expiration date. But this package design is not communicating the integrity of the chocolate, this design is all about the recipient of the chocolate. Nice package. And the dark chocolate version is in blue instead of pink. I wonder if it’s supposed to be gender-specific… hmmm.

Rebel Rocky Road

Anyhow, the packaging design as a whole feels more like a gift and less like a food product, which most women like. Designing the product to be more like a ‘gift’ will command a higher price as well.

It’s all about what is communicated outside of the box that creates the desire to what’s inside. I enjoy the feeling of desire more than rocky road chocolates, so this box will stay in my unopened collection of nice design.

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