These Infuriating Packaging Designs Made Everyone at the Supermarket Stare in Disbelief

2019-07-26 Stories

This article was originally published on our website: yourdailyharbour.com

Supermarkets are weird and amazing places filled with all kinds of goods from fruits, veggies, and frozen meals, to snacks, sweets, and delicious cookies. Usually going to the supermarket is a fun experience as you get to buy lots of yummy goods, but sometimes things go south and you end up with something truly unexpected on your hands.

These people were looking forward to eating their tasty gummy bears, amaretto cookies, pizzas, and sandwiches, but when they opened the package they couldn’t utter a word. It was not what they were buying!

Some brands use dirty tricks to sell more of their product, changing the packaging and using deceitful inscriptions. Here are the most infuriating packaging design fails we’ve ever seen.


40. Cheating at Its Finest

Whoever designed this package deserves some kind of a cheating award. This is truly ingenious! A person buying this pizza was expecting to see it covered with pepperoni, but the reality was a bit different.

We aren’t really sure whether the pepperoni just shifted to one side of the package, leaving half of the pizza looking bare like a desert, or this was done intentionally to inspire the buyer to get the pizza chock-full of yummy pepperoni.

Either way, the buyer was thoroughly disappointed and will probably never purchase this brand again. That’s not how you treat your customers!


39. Small vs Medium

If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a big difference between a medium and small size of drinks in McDonald’s – here’s your answer! Someone decided to buy two juices of different sizes and compare the actual amount of drink they offer.

The medium and small-sized drinks look nearly identical! Of course, the price is quite different for small and medium sizes, so you can draw your own conclusions already. Why pay more for the same amount of juice?

We can’t call it full-on cheating, but we can all agree that the difference is too small to be paying more for the medium-sized drink. Just go for the small one and you’ll be alright!


38. The Sandwich Illusion

Buying a sandwich seems like the most mundane thing in the world, but sometimes things go south even with such a simple purchase.

This person just wanted a nice filling snack, but they ended up getting something very different from what was advertised on the packaging. There were, in fact, two little sandwiches instead of a big one!

Well, you might argue that it isn’t such a big deal, but then why create such a deceiving package that doesn’t show you what you’re buying? Just make a transparent cover so that people don’t have unrealistic expectations. Otherwise, the brand will just lose customers.


37. Too Much Nutella? She Doesn’t Think So!

How much Nutella is too much? We believe there is no right or wrong answer to this question and everyone will have something different to say on the matter. Still, we believe this huge jar of Nutella should please most fans of this sweet and yummy paste.

But having this jar at home is such a big temptation! You can eat it all day long and then there will always be some more left… On the other hand, you can make a Nutella party and have fun with your friends in the sweetest way possible. Maybe that is this girl’s plan?

No matter how you look at it, this huge jar of Nutella seems amazing. We just hope that it’s filled with the yummy cream to the brim!


36. You Just Need to Cut Them!

We really don't know whether this is some kind of evil prank or a genius advertising trick. Just cutting two big rolls into pieces doesn't turn them into mini-rolls! Or does it?

Following this logic, they could also advertise 24 or 36 mini-rolls - all you need to do is just cut them into smaller ones! This is hideous and quite infuriating. It also proves that you should check what you buy thoroughly before you make the purchase.

But emotions aside, this is quite a spectacular advertising trick. Still, we really hope they would make the contents match the packaging. Karma exists, you know!


35. Santa Claus is Not Real (and We Meant It)

Take a look at this yummy chocolate Santa Claus from Russia (he's called Father Frost there, by the way). Well, if you think Santa Claus can't lie or be deceptive - that's where you're wrong!

When it comes to packaging designs you can trust no one, even the good-natured and kind-hearted Santa Claus who brings gifts to kids on Christmas. Yes, he's not real! And here’s why.

If you unwrap this packaging you'll find a bunny underneath! Well, a delicious chocolate bunny isn't so bad either, but imagine being a little kid opening your treat on Christmas - the disappointment would be unavoidable!


34. Your Sandwich is a Lie

When it comes to sandwiches you can never trust what you see. Whatever they sell at the supermarket will always have some kind of weird twist that will spoil your mood. It seems that manufacturers want to lower the expenses in any way they can, so they keep coming up with new ways to trick you.

This, for example, is one of the most widespread tricks they use to create the illusion of a tasty meaty sandwich. Well, the same happens with cheese and other fillings as well!

And the worst thing is that it’s almost impossible to tell whether the sandwich you’re buying is real or not until you open the package and check what’s inside. It’s both frustrating and infuriating! The only way around it is to find a brand you trust and just buy their sandwiches all the time.


33. The Wurst Kind of Sausage

When you see two presumably yummy sausages in this huge packaging you kind of expect them to be big as well. Or is it just us? Well, whoever bought the sausages thought they look just as advertised.

But we all know that expectations don't always match reality, so when the buyer opened up the package he was unpleasantly surprised. What's with all that extra space?

These sausages look absolutely average and you'd probably think twice before buying them if they were packed differently. What a cunning deception!


32. One Plus One Equals… One and a Half

Snickers is one of the most popular chocolate brands ever, but even this brand uses packaging tricks to get more sales. This is marketing at its finest! Or worst, depending on how you look at it.

So, what happens when you put two small Snickers bars together? Nope, they don’t create one huge chocolate bar – more like a slightly bigger-than-the-usual one. But the advertisement makes you believe otherwise!

Whenever you see something that’s advertised as extra-large or larger-than-the-usual, it’s always good to compare it with the medium-sized item, be it a chocolate bar or a bag of chips. It’s also useful to look at those tiny digits revealing just how many grams of yumminess this product packs. You’d be surprised with what you find!


31. Why Do This?

There’s this thing called ‘packaging overkill’ and sometimes you can hardly notice it, but other times it’s right in your face and it’s horrible. Like these strawberries, for instance, that were packed in so much plastic that it’s ridiculous.

Do they think that strawberries look more delicious packed like this? On the contrary, this packaging looks weird and way too artificial. Well, they say that Harry & David strawberries are overpriced, so we guess it makes sense they’d come up with some crazy packaging to make the strawberries look more expensive.

Still, in the age when humanity should be trying to use as little plastic as possible, it’s painful to look at such overkill packaging.


30. An Ingenious Hotel Scam

When it comes to cheating customers hotels also use all kinds of tricks and scams. This might very well be one of the worst we've ever seen!

Offering to use a service that is usually free and then charging people a crazy amount of money is one of the most common ways hotels cheat their customers. But these people went even further!

They put an electric kettle in the room and then made up a fine for using it. Can you believe this? And not just a few dollars, but 40 euros. We can't imagine just how many people were tricked into paying this ridiculous fine. A good old-fashioned scandal is what this hotel needs, involving social media and maybe a few lawyers as well.


29. Relax, Sleep, Poop, Repeat

Two absolutely identical bottles of medicine with pills for sleeping and pooping... What could go wrong? Seriously, though, one has to be very careful with bottles like these!

Imagine being tired or sleepy and taking the pills without paying attention, relying on the familiar bottle for guidance. Ah, this is a recipe for disaster! These two bottles have drastically different pills and you really wouldn't want to mess them up.

We doubt that the manufacturer made this on purpose - it was probably cheaper to produce the same bottles and then fill them up with different meds. But it's wrong on so many levels!


28. The Glue is Deceiving You, Too!

We least expect packaging deception from ordinary things like pencils or glue, but it happens nonetheless. Just look at this minuscule tube of glue packed to create an illusion of a bigger bottle!

The manufacturer knows exactly what's been done - this is a classic case of packaging scam that fools the buyer into thinking that he's getting a decent amount of product, but the reality is quite different.

Well, what can we say - you can't trust anything you see in the supermarket. You should carefully examine everything, even a bottle of glue!


27. What on Earth is That?

Okay, we can all read the naming on the package, but seriously, what is that atrocity that’s being sold as food? Looks more like something you would feed your dog, but we really doubt that a dog would come anywhere near this ‘delicacy’!

The image on the packaging is not only deceiving, but it’s the complete opposite of what you see when you open the box. If you saw this dish sold at a café you’d probably feel nauseous! We don’t know if it smells or tastes good, but we wouldn’t want to find out.

Pre-made meals are tricky and one should always be careful when buying them. More often than not you will end up with something not very appetizing on your hands!


26. Wait, What?

If you have a habit of reading the ingredients of the products you buy then you’ve probably already noticed that what’s written in the front doesn’t always reflect the reality. And if you don’t have that useful habit, it’s about time you started questioning everything they write on the package!

Here, for instance, a very straightforward deception is happening. But the manufacturer wasn’t attentive enough to do it properly – they forgot one small detail.

The front of the product says it’s enriched with Vitamin A, but in reality, there is no Vitamin A whatsoever! Maybe they aren’t allowed to lie in the ingredients section, so when you take a look at the Nutrition Facts you’ll notice that Vitamin A content is 0%. How can you believe anything they say after that?


25. Where’s the Cream?

We get it, all brands want to sell as much of their product as they can. But why lie about its amount so blatantly? Once a person buys this cream, they will definitely not buy it ever again after they discover just how little product is in the box.

Some brands don’t understand that building long-lasting relationships with their buyers is much more important than just selling their stuff one time. Sure, people will buy it, but then they’ll never come back again to that brand!

Would you still buy from a brand that uses such deceptive packaging tricks? The cream itself might be good, but this deception just makes the whole experience awful.


24. Aliens aren’t What They Used to be…

The packaging looks quite cool on this one, doesn’t it? But once you start blowing the balloons something weird happens… Are these really aliens?

We mean, why on Earth would someone paint them that way? It’s not that hard to make their faces on the balloon itself and not at the very top where you can’t really see them. Is this a mistake or a case of negligence?

We’ll probably never know, but one thing we can say for sure – these aliens look quite pathetic! And not nearly as cool as they are pictured on the package. Whoever bought them must have been pretty disappointed to see what they looked like in real life. Seriously, though, how hard is it to draw an alien face on a balloon?


23. Too Much Plastic

We get it, small items should be packed properly in order not to get stolen. If this was a USB drive, using a bigger package could have been appropriate (but still not as big as this one). But this seems more like a wireless plug for a mouse, which means that without the mouse it’s useless!

So why pack this miniature plug like it’s some kind of treasure? Even if it was, it would have made more sense to lock it up and make the cashier hand it out to the person who wants to buy it.

Seeing so much plastic being used for no good reason just makes us feel sad. We hope brands would ditch this redundant packing policy as soon as possible.


22. Something Fishy’s Going on…

If you think supermarkets are somewhat different in Russia – they aren’t! Of course, the products that are sold there are a bit different, but you’ll find they are almost the same – snacks, meats, veggies, fruits, and some fraudulent goods as well.

This pack of sausages seems perfectly normal at first – the package even advertises two extra sausages at the price of ten! While that may seem like a good deal, a closer inspection reveals something not very pleasant.

There are no extra sausages in this pack! They just rearranged ten sausages to look like there are extra two in the special compartment. Deceiving people like that is really awful. Well, you know what they say about karma – it always finds a way.


21. The Shrimp Deception

Who doesn't like a big pack of large shrimps? Almost seems too good to be true. Well, this amazing pack of long shrimps turned out to be something very different from what the package advertised.

Once the shopper opened it up a bit - the truth immediately came out. These shrimps were a total fraud!

We must admit it's kind of genius to pack the shrimps and their heads this way - the illusion is perfect. But this is cheating at its finest!


20. The Miserable Noodles

When buying instant food you don’t really expect for things to go south. It’s very easy – there’s a cup filled with instant noodles, maybe some additional toppings you can use, and that’s it. Well, this buyer was in for a little surprise.

This person thought they were buying a full cup of noodles – a natural assumption made by looking at the large cup. But this product turned out to be fake because it contained less than half a cup of noodles.

This is a perfect example of deceitful packaging that seems to be very common on this list. The brand wants to save up on foods and reduces the quantity, leaving the package the same size. It’s really not pretty!


19. A Climbing Rope You Can’t Use

People may use rope for different things, but when you see a rope packed like a climbing one with a corresponding picture, you just assume that it’s good for climbing. This is common sense!

While this may be obvious to a shopper, the company that released this product had another thought in mind. Yes, it’s a rope and there’s a picture of a climber on the package, but you can’t use this rope for climbing. Where’s the logic in that?

It’s one thing to deceive people with wrong packaging, but putting their lives at risk is a whole different matter. What if someone didn’t read the small text and actually used this rope for climbing? This is dangerous on so many levels.


18. What’s Going on Here?

Chips are one of the most common snacks eaten by thousands of people, that’s why the competition is quite high among the chips-makers. They come up with all kinds of schemes to trick you into buying their product.

Most of the time they are just selling more for ‘the same price’ which is usually just a lie. They can use the same amount of chips just putting them into a bigger package to create the illusion that you’re buying more chips.

But this case is different! The Lays ad says that the chips are in a bigger package when, in fact, the package is even smaller than usual! They could also be talking about something else being bigger – like chips, for instance. We don’t believe that’s actually the case, though.


17. Untrustworthy

Tomato soup is not something you can eat every day, but it’s good to have it from time to time. This person decided to get two cans of Campbell’s tomato soup and stash it away just in case. You never know when you’ll want some!

Imagine their surprise, when one of the cans was advertising that it contained 30% more soup than usual, while the other had an inscription saying that it had 40% more soup. But the cans were absolutely identical in size!

How can you even trust these companies after something like this? We should check all these deals and bargains twice before actually buying the product.


16. The Gummy Bear Fraud

Even buying gummy bears isn’t safe these days – you think you’re buying a cup full of delicious candies, but instead, you get nothing. Like, not even half a cup!

This is wrong on so many levels. They threw in some gummy bears to make it look like this is what you’re actually buying, but inside there is not a single gummy bear to be found. We can only imagine the disappointment this buyer felt once he opened the package. So frustrating!

If this is not fraud then we don’t know what is. The description of the product should have been more precise. Otherwise, someone could actually sue the company that is selling this empty cup.


15. The Crayon Disaster

Whoever packed these crayons must have been quite a big fan of the orange colour. Or maybe they were really into the show Orange is the New Black? Seriously though, it looks like a machine mistake because there’s no way this was done by someone on purpose.

Still, this person must have been very surprised when they opened this pack of crayons! Out of all the things that could go wrong, having a pack full of orange crayons seems almost unbelievable.

The price is quite suspicious as well – why were they selling this pack of crayons for only $0.99? Did the shop know it was defective in some way? One should be very careful when buying discounted goods.


14. Something’s Missing

Did you ever have this craving for a sweet cream-filled croissant? Maybe paired with a cup of nice hot tea or coffee? Well, even if you didn’t, you can easily imagine the disappointment of this person who just wanted to enjoy a tasty croissant with a filling.

After eating halfway through the croissant, this shopper finally realized that the cream wasn’t going to show up. Only a few itsy-bitsy drops!

We don’t know who’s to blame for this – the company’s greed or some machine malfunction that was filling up the croissants with cream, but one thing we know for sure – this person’s evening was ruined!


13. A Pizza, but Not Quite

We all realize that the picture on the pizza’s package is quite different from what we’ll see inside. The actual pizza usually looks less appetizing, at least before you bake it in the oven.

Well, this buyer got his hands on something truly outstanding – a pizza with no topping at all! It looks almost as if someone has stolen all the bacon and greens and left it absolutely bare.

We aren’t even sure that this pizza is edible as it consists of nothing but the dough and a bit of cheese, although it’s hard to tell from the photo whether there is cheese at all. Remember this pizza brand and avoid it at all costs!


12. The Lonely Choco Chip

This fudge looks so delicious on the package picture with all those little yummy choco chips on top. Naturally, one would expect to see a similar piece of chocolate fudge inside the package as well.

Of course, there are always differences as the brand wants to create the most appetizing package, but in this case, it turned out to be a blatant lie.

Where are all the choco chips? There’s only one lonely choco chip fella hanging on top of the fudge like some kind of mockery. Seriously, the brand should be more attentive to what they are selling.


11. A Huge Disappointment

Deceiving kids is the lowest thing a company can do, don’t you agree? This Disney sticker pack was advertised containing 1001 various stickers for the kids to enjoy. You might have guessed already that the truth was a little bit different.

When the buyer opened up the package they did find lots of stickers inside, but most of them were plain colourful squares that you couldn’t really use anywhere!

The whole point of Disney sticker packs is to have Disney characters in them and not some random figures. If they wanted square stickers they would have bought them. We just hope there were enough cool Disney stickers as well and the kids didn’t notice this deception.


10. Just a Drop of Cream

Foods are definitely not the only things that get special package treatment – plenty of other companies use deceptive tricks, too!

We don’t know how good this cream is, but its packaging is the worst we’ve ever seen. Can you believe this? They packed this minuscule bottle in a box twice its size.

Maybe this cream does wonders to your skin and maybe it’s the best cream in the world, but all of it doesn’t matter after you see packaging like this. We’re sure this woman will never buy this cream again!


9. The Case of the Missing Gold

This shopper was out to buy some sticky papers for notes and found these cute ones with a golden line. Thinking that it was quite a nice find, the shopper just went on and bought a few packs of these sticky papers.

Well, imagine their surprise when they turned the paper and found out there was no cute golden frame on the rest of the papers. This is deception at its finest!

This is a reminder that we should thoroughly check all the products we want to buy before actually purchasing them. You never know which brand decides to cheat!


8. An Unfortunate Bun

Just look at this sad bun with close to no filling at all! We would have called this amazing if it wasn’t so disappointing for the person who bought it.

You look at the picture of that yummy bun with a rich sweet filling made of poppy seeds and you expect it to be so good after you take the first bite… But then you take a bite and then another one, and it turns out to be just a huge fraud.

Seriously, we feel the disappointment just by looking at this photo - the person who bought this bun must have been devastated with the purchase. Why would anyone do that? A person who bought this bun once will never ever buy it again!


7. The Non-Existent Print

Why is it so hard to sell the exact product you are advertising? After all, if you deceive the buyer, that person will go tell about it to all their friends and make angry posts on social media platforms. One well-made angry post can destroy a brand’s reputation!

Yet here we are – another fraud that was initially looking like a good purchase. The person who bought this table cover thought they were buying a fully printed product, but the reality was quite different.

The print was only on the sides of the table cover! Of course, those were the sides you first see when you look at the product.  Please mind that the inscription on the package is saying it should be printed all over. Such a disappointment!


6. The Most Ironic Packaging

This product is just too funny! Did the company that produced this very handy plastic cutter create this package on purpose? Or was it just a hilarious mistake?

Well, either way, we can all agree that this package-opener is mocking whoever will buy it at the supermarket. You actually need a special opener to cut through this thick plastic packaging!

We’re sure the person who bought this had a good laugh at the whole situation. But seriously, what were they thinking?


5. The Ultimate Deception

Most people have stopped paying attention to all those 30% more and ‘now bigger’ inscriptions that we often see on chocolates and chips. Still, our subconscious works in such a funny way that these tricks still might work to some extent.

Like, if you’re choosing between an ordinary chocolate bar and the one that says it’s offering ‘more for the same price’ – you are likely to choose the latter. That’s just how our psyche works and advertisers know about this very well.

So, it’s good to compare different products from time to time, especially when some kind of freebie is advertised. You can see it very well in this photo – the size of the chocolate bar is the same despite the inscription saying one should be bigger.


4. The Chocolate Disaster

When you want a beautiful big box of chocolates, you just go to the market and buy one. Sometimes the chocolate is good, sometimes not so much, and sometimes you get a ridiculous box that is only half full.

And this isn’t even real chocolate! Compound chocolate doesn’t contain any cocoa butter and it’s packed with vegetable fats and all kinds of sweeteners. It sounds bad and it tastes even worse!

Still, selling chocolate in such a deceitful package should be considered a crime. You think you’re buying a full pack, but instead, you get hardly a half. Well, maybe in this case it’s not such a bad thing after all.


3. Schrödinger’s Gluten

Gluten-free products can be quite hard to come by, still, there are lots of people who look for them and, more often than not, find a variety of gluten-free yummies. Gluten-free foods become less of a rarity with each passing year and you can even find whole sections in the supermarkets dedicated to these products.

But not everything that says ‘gluten-free’ on the packaging is actually safe to eat. One shopper wanted to buy a gluten-free brownie, but much to their surprise on the back of the product there was an inscription stating that the brownie was far from gluten-free or organic.

What a shame! It seems that the ingredients of this brownie are okay, but the facility where it’s prepared is far from gluten-free, which means some of the dangerous ingredients may have gotten into the brownie. Well, at least they had the decency to mention it on the back of the brownie’s packaging.


2. The Cutest Fraud Ever

When you see a cute product like this you kind of forget about everything else. Did they write on the package just how many pencils it contained? Well, even if they did, this whole thing is still deeply misleading.

Why didn’t they just create a cute smaller packing for these pencils? It would look just as adorable and people wouldn’t be deceived by the actual quantity of pencils they were buying.

The buyers must have been infuriated with this deception, but one thing remains unchanged - those pencils are super cute.


1. Asking for a Lawsuit

Oh, just look at these two perfectly normal cans of… Radiator Coolant? Why would anyone put something so toxic in a can that looks like it should contain beer or soda?

This style of packaging is bound to have some issues in the future. For example, kids are known to drink all kinds of stuff, especially if it comes in normal-looking cans and bottles. And who’s to blame them? This does look like a perfectly ordinary can of sweet beverage.

We really hope this company will change their packaging for a safer one. Toxic chemicals should never be put into food containers!