Hormel’s profits are down, but Spam sales are up. People are eating out less at restaurants, but McDonald’s seems to still be quite profitable.

I remember a time when I was fresh out of college and working an unpaid internship, keeping a security stash of ramen packs in the back seat of my car to curb my appetite when I couldn’t afford lunch. When I was growing tired of this food during a post-college period, a friend would tell me to “relax, breathe deep and learn to take life one pack of ramen at a time.” It wasn’t very funny back then.

As the bottom gets deeper and our pockets get emptier, it’s more crucial for a company to have packaging that sells. And food manufacturers are looking for ways that they can sell their product. One way of doing so is for packaging to tout a product as a good value.

But who knows how long this recession will last, and how long people will keep putting on “recession pounds” by eating cheap, unhealthy food? People need more than a good value; they need to feel healthy. (And let’s be honest: How many of us feel healthy after a dollar menu binge?) What better way than to tout the health benefits of one product’s value over another’s?

According to an article from foodnavigator-usa.com, items such as bananas, which sell at an average of 30 cents, or chicken, which appears more healthy and affordable than other meats, are doing well. Why not point out the value to the consumer, both health- and money-wise, on a label, or on the box/bag?

What health benefits could your product offer consumers? Boast about it on the package! When I walk down the aisle, not only do I look for packaging to tell me I’m getting a good deal, but that I’ll feel good after consuming the product.

Because let’s face it: When one loses a job, it makes it awfully tough for him to retain regular doctor appointments or gym memberships, which only further primes an already ticking time bomb with every Extra Value Meal.