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In spite of knowing that packaging and book covers sway the decision-maker, I sometimes think that I’m not influenced by them. The other day I had a really adverse reaction to a package and was re-awakened to their influence.

Passover starts tonight and last Friday I was out running some errands and realized I could easily pick up the Matzo Ball mix at the grocery store. I walked in (it wasn’t my regular store) and quickly found the Passover display but didn’t find the mix I wanted to buy. I usually buy either Manischewitz or Streit’s brands and they had plenty of Manischewitz products. But, I was stopped in my tracks by the package.

I couldn’t buy it. It didn’t look right. I walked around and looked for some Streits products, but they only had Manischewitz. I looked at the Manischewitz products again. I still couldn’t buy it even though I knew I’d have to stop at another store altogether. I left empty-handed.

I went to the other grocery on my way home and quickly searched for the Streits and found that they were almost out. I got the last boxes of the soup mix! What a relief!

After a family discussion, we realized that the package wasn’t ethnic enough and didn’t make me feel ‘Jewish’ enough on this holiday that is all about being Jewish. I realized that it reminded me of white bread and Crisco (note the resemblence below) .

As I’ve researched more about Manischewitz to write this, I learned that they are no longer owned by the same family and in fact have some more mainstream brands in their portfolio now.    They are trying to reach a broader audience than the Jewish market so perhaps this new packaging makes sense for those purposes.    I’ll be researching some more to see if this Passover season was as profitable for them as last year- or if others were put off by the new package too!