The science of large addictive snacks or junk food is overwhelming, and much of it is psychology that makes a person buy it again in the grocery store based on smell and taste.
In fact, you might not be able to describe that kind of comfort when consuming pre-made lunch meat or soda. According to the New York Times Magazine investigative piece, “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food,” the long-time scheme played by snack food artists and beverage makers is a masterful marketing tactic, especially in the United States.
“What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort-taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles-to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive,” writes Michael Moss of the piece, adding that he talked with more than 300 current or former employees of the processed-food industry, “from scientists to marketers to C.E.O.’s.”
A series of case studies show the addictiveness of certain foods. For instance, Kraft Lunachables pre-packed lunches bring in nearly $1 billion a year, though they’ve regularly been criticized for carrying high contents of sugar and sodium.
Moss writes that he also recalled when asking Geoffrey Bible, former C.E.O. of Philip Morris, about this shift toward more salt, sugar and fat in meals for kids, he smiled and noted that even in its earliest incarnation, Lunchables was held up for criticism.
“One article said something like, ‘If you take Lunchables apart, the most healthy item in it is the napkin.’ ”
There’s a reason why junk food tastes so good and much of it is marketing to get repeated customers.