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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Images of food constitute salient visual stimuli in the mind of the consumer. They are capable of promoting both feelings of hunger and the desire for food. It should not, then, come as any surprise that many product packages present the food contained within as a salient aspect of their visual design. Conventionally, this has been achieved primarily by the use of attractive visual imagery showing the product on the outside of the packaging. Nowadays, however, developments in packaging are increasingly enabling designers to add transparent elements, thus allowing consumers to directly see the product before purchase. Yet relatively little is known about the effectiveness of product imagery as compared with transparent packaging. In this review, we address the various ways in which seeing (images of) food influences the consumer. The implications for packaging designs which include: (a) images of food, and (b) transparent elements, are investigated. Guidelines are also provided for designers and brands on the ways in which to take advantage of these effects of being able to see the food.

Original publication




Journal article


Food Quality and Preference

Publication Date





340 - 351