: why are some burgers wrapped in wrappers(hamburger for example) while others are packaged in those “boxes” (fillet-o-fish for example) ?

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: why are some burgers wrapped in wrappers(hamburger for example) while others are packaged in those “boxes” (fillet-o-fish for example) ?

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Much of it is perceived value – a customer will pay more for a product that looks like it’s worth more. Plain cheeseburgers and hamburgers are cheap consumables – wrap it with paper, toss them onto the bag, and customer unwraps and eats it.

The more expensive burgers might not cost that much more to make, but they have to increase the perceived value to encourage customers to spend a few dollars more. Boxes are better at displaying the burger when the customer opens it. We know that a Big Mac is really two small patties stacked with a middle bun and a lot of lettuce, and a Quarter Pounder is really a glorified cheeseburger, but the perception of value when it comes in a box means customers will pay more for what they think is more.

The box provides more protection for a possibly more fragile type of sandwich. It also gives it a more premium or luxurious branding, while costing more. So, cheapo burgers might be more likely to be simply wrapped in paper while more expensive burgers are more likely to be in a box.

If you pay for a premium product your brain expects a premium presentation. Without that the food will literally not taste as good as you expect.

There have been numerous psychological experiments about this. One of my favorites are ones where the researchers offers the participant two different products. They look almost exactly the same but one is more expensive. The participants will almost always say the expensive one is better. However the truth is both are the same product. the mind tricked the participant into feeling the expensive one was better because it expected it to be better.

So if I bring a burger out wrapped in paper gave you eat it, and then bring one out in a sturdy individual sized box you are more likely to find the one in the box more appealing even if they are the same exact burger recipe.

When I worked at McDonald’s circa 2005, the hamburger buns were toasted but the filet buns were steamed. Steamed buns were more fragile so they got a box to avoid smushing the bread.