EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Cellophane, the New Visuality, and the Creation of Self-Service Food Retailing

Ai Hisano ()
Additional contact information
Ai Hisano: Harvard Business School, General Management Unit

No 17-106, Harvard Business School Working Papers from Harvard Business School

Abstract: This working paper examines how innovations in transparent packaging, specifically cellophane, in the mid-twentieth century United States helped retailers to create full self-service merchandising systems, including selling perishable food. While self-service stores began appearing in the late 1910s, self-service was initially applied only to grocery and dry goods, such as canned foods and a box of breakfast cereals. It was not until after World War II that the majority of American grocers adopted self-service to meat and produce sections. Business historians have explored the development of this self-service merchandising from the perspectives of marketing strategies, store operations, and relationships between customers and store clerks. However, the significance of the development of cellophane as a new packaging material, and the role of packaging manufacturers in promoting self-service, has yet to be analyzed. This working paper fills this void by showing that the expansion of self-service operation and the increasing use of transparent packaging had a significant impact not only on how consumers purchased foods but also on how they understood food quality.

Pages: 42 pages
Date: 2017-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-dcm, nep-his and nep-mkt
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations:

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/pages/download.aspx?name=17-106.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hbs:wpaper:17-106

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Harvard Business School Working Papers from Harvard Business School Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by HBS ().

 
Page updated 2024-07-23
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:17-106