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Many shoppers see packaging as getting easier to use but harder than ever to trust. Like advertising, "it highlights what they want you to think and covers up the negatives." This feeling comes from being bombarded with exaggerations, deceptions, and fine print. There are ice cream cartons which look the same as ever but no longer contain real ice cream. Groups like Moms Across America are filing lawsuits about 100% Natural claims on cereals and screaming "No way" about the millions of dollars that big food companies have secretly spent on defeating GMO labeling proposals.

When what shoppers want/need to know is in such small print that they don't see it or have trouble reading it, they conclude that they are not intended to see it. And while I am focusing on packages, they are one of many examples of the consumer challenges in today's marketplace. Finding their way around the marketplace maze is getting harder rather than easier. Hidden costs and charges are everywhere, Airlines are charging extra fees for a few inches of leg room, for early boarding, for food, and for luggage. Banks are charging fees for free checking! Wells Fargo is even charging for printing a receipt at its ATM terminals. Will supermarkets soon be charging extra for detailed receipts?  


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