Talk about deceitful packaging

Packaging can be much more than just deceiving when taken at face value.

Take my Charles for example. He might be only two years old, but he is packaged like a bodyguard crossed with a soldier and perhaps a bit of cage fighter added to the fray.

He’s big, shiny black, and weighs 70kg. And when he cocks his vocal cords and lets rip with a ra-ta-ta of short, sharp barks, he does sound like a match for Chuck Norris.

Add to that the fact that he’s all muscle, and can sprint from the pool all to way to the gate in less time than it takes to say “does your dog bite” and he is quite an intimidating creature.

But that’s just the packaging.

Inside he’s a giant teddy bear with a heart made of soft toys. His favourite pastime is cuddling on the double bed and he’s afraid – no, very afraid – of the cats and the dark. But don’t tell the dark. My Charles has a reputation to uphold.

So, when it comes to packaging, my Charles is the perfect example of “what you see is not what you get”.

Very much like breakfast cereals that all claim to be “part of a balanced breakfast”.

Really? In my humble opinion – humble, as I am not a qualified dietician or nutritionist – every single edible thing in the universe could qualify as “part of a balanced” breakfast/lunch/dinner/ meal/snack.

A slice of toast, an egg, a sausage, caviar, oysters, Peking duck, steak tartare … all of these can theoretically be passed off as “part of a balanced diet”. But would you label them as such?

Or have I got the dog by the tail? Does it mean that without cereal, your breakfast is not balanced? And what do you need to add to make up the rest of the balance?

I thought about all this driving to work past all the still not removed election posters.

Smiling from a giant billboard was the president, packaged in green, yellow and black with a label that reads “Lets’s grow South Africa together”, while the newsreader reported on the country’s GDP shrinking by a shocking 3.2%.

Talk about deceitful packaging.

Danie Toerien

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