Actual product may differ

Still unpacking and settling in, I ate a Lean Cuisine for dinner one night during our first week in our new house. This is the box – Lean Cuisine Meatball Arrabiata,. Looks pretty good, don’t you think?

Lean Cuisine - Meatball Arrabbiata - box

Here’s the real thing, fresh out of the microwave. It looked good to me, but certainly different from the image on the box! The meatballs were very tasty though – they were bouncy, yet tender, and well-seasoned, with a delicious charry flavour. The pasta turned out perfect. The sauce wasn’t bad for a frozen and reheated diet sauce.

Lean Cuisine - Meatball Arrabbiata - the real thing

Obviously I knew the real thing wouldn’t look like the image on the box. As consumers, we’re used to this – burgers that look squished rather than abundant with fillings are a typical example. But I don’t know why companies think they have to food style their products to the extent that they do, resulting in the the image on the box not resembling the end product at all. I actually think a more accurate portrayal of the product on the box wouldn’t turn people off (unless the actual product DID look like crap) – it would be a smarter way of managing consumers’ expectations from the start. In this case, the real thing really doesn’t look bad to me at all. If it were in a bain marie at lunch time I’d probably buy it – I love meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta. I just think there’s no need to style up frozen food to look like restaurant or magazine food – because it will never look like that at home! Just my thoughts.

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