I'll just come right out and admit that I can't help myself when it comes to pretty packaging. When all other factors are equal (price, weight, ingredients, organic) I'll go for the jar or box or bag that appeals as much to my design sense as my tastebuds. (Ok. Since we're being honest here, I might even pay just a little more. But only just a little. And not always!)The important phrase here is "all other factors are equal" because it's very possible to be seduced by a pretty package only to find mediocre ingredients inside. And there are dozens of top notch items that come in boring, if not ugly, packaging that I'm not going to stop buying just for its bad typeface and garish colors.
Since I spend a lot of time in my kitchen and a lot of time cooking, handling and looking at my pantry, and because I'm a very visual person, attractive packaging is another way to bring small bits of pleasure into my daily life. When I reach for a package of Rancho Gordo Beans, I always smile at the pretty lady licking her lips on the front of the package. Rancho Gordo is an example of paying more for a prettily packaged ingredient, but it's also an example of an excellent product that's worth the extra cost - especially because many of their bean varieties aren't available in the bulk bean bin where I admittedly do most of my dried bean shopping.
Having a small collection of attractive jars on hand is a good way to deal with packaging that sets your teeth on edge. With most products, it's easy to transfer them into one of your jars and affix a label, either making one of your own or sticking it on the bottom if you're not artistically inclined. This is also nice for goods bought from the aforementioned bulk bins.
It's true that pretty packaging is a 'buyer beware' situation and that we need to be careful about being seduced into buying something just because we love the typeface used in the logo. But when nice packaging and quality product come together, as with Rancho Gordo, then that's a very fine situation indeed.
Related: Daily Find: Heirloom Beans from Rancho Gordo
(Image: Sidewalk Shoes, Ranch Gordo)