Eye give: 1 present-buying day to go - Life and Style - The Independent

Eye give: 1 present-buying day to go

The design-conscious Nineties means everything can be made to look good enough to eat. The Eighties discovered the importance of design with the Body Shop - young girls eagerly acquired varieties of pink bottles made with vegetable extracts and a smell that could end with the foolhardy visiting hospital. These products looked so fabulous that there was no impetus to use them for what they were originally intended. Instead they stood proudly on shelves to make everyone else turn interesting shades of green with envy.

Enter the second marketing stage. Nowadays the de rigeur design concept is one step more sophisticated - it has been applied to products that are at the bottom of the image chain, like vinegar in a flashy bottle with bits of herbs and leaves and a touch of food dye. Herein is the wonderful lie of Christmas (which is the fairy at the top of the advertisers' tree) - people won't baulk at being given a bottle of vinegar when it is packaged deliciously. Granted, it will look nicer on the shelf than a bottle of Heinz, and can be used to replace other design victims - like pretty dried flowers.

Festive Vinegar at pounds 9.95. Available in Cinnamon, Citrus and Spice from Habitat.

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