The short answer is, when it’s not false or misleading about the product inside the package.
This past weekend, my daughter and I found ourselves in Costco, picking up some provisions, and this bag of non-provision somehow happened to land in our shopping cart:
Almost protesting, based on a prior experience with Hershy’s Brookside dark chocolates, I chose instead to simply let it remain in the cart, because someone knew she really wanted them.
What struck me when we got home and I looked at the bag more closely is the honesty of this packaging, there is clearly only fruit flavoring, no actual or real fruit inside these chocolates.
The package struck me because it was in stark contrast to what I remembered from my prior experience that almost had me protesting this Brookside purchase, so I decided to do a little digging and test my memory, sure enough I was on to something.
What am I saying? Well, the first time I encountered Hershey’s Brookside dark chocolate brand, I recall the packaging looked something more like this, with a load of berries adorning the package:
And, in my initial encounter and experience with the Brookside brand, I recall actually believing that what I’d find in the bag would be chocolate covered fruit, apparently and thankfully I’m not the only one who ended up feeling duped.
While I was frustrated for not reading the fine print on the packaging, which likely would have highlighted the disconnect with the whole fruit images, for impulse products, thankfully we have competitors like Mars who will bring NAD complaints to keep competitors honest.
The above 2014 packaging also shows whole fruit as the one I remembered, but it was an improvement of the previous packaging that omitted any prominent use of the word “Flavors,” still the NAD rightfully condemned it as misleading, which presumably is what led to the package at the top of this post — bearing no fruit, with prominent mentions of flavors — the one that we purchased at Costco this past weekend.
Coming on the heels of my Fuse experience in Miami, where authenticity, transparency, and honesty in brands are regularly praised, I’m left wondering why it took Hershey’s this long to get it right, and I’m also left wondering how forgiving consumers will be.