Stiff competition

You’re thirsty and dash into the supermarket to find something cheap to quench your thirst. You walk down the drinks aisle and are welcomed by appealingly colourful soft drinks and left uninspired by colourless bottled water. You’re automatically drawn to the colour but think to yourself, “Hmm, I should be a little sensible with my spending and compare the price of the two.” It’s a no-brainer; the appealing red soft drinks are $1.00 and the bottled water is $1.45. The decision is easy…you reach for the soft drink.

Making ‘sensible’ choices regarding our diet is influenced by a number of factors, the influence of which sometimes goes undetected in the whirlwind of everyday life. Food and drink companies go to great lengths to make their products appealing to us and to ensure that they are competitive through reduced prices. Take the example of soft drinks versus bottled water; not only is the colour of soft drinks more appealing but when they are cheaper than bottled water, it makes it even easier to reach for the soft drink, putting aside any concerns we might have about sugar content and artificial flavours and colours.

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