Economics and business levels 7 and 8

Lesson overview - Consumer choices

This lesson is part of a Level 7 and 8 Economics and Business titled 'Choconomics'. This lesson is focused on how packaging and branding influence purchase decisions.

Victorian Curriculum – Economics and business

Levels 7 and 8

Examine the ways consumers and producers respond to and influence each other in the market, particularly through the price mechanism (VCEBR011).

Learning intention

We are learning about the factors that influence consumer choices.

Success criteria

I can describe the factors that influence consumer choices.

Extension ideas

Extend the success criteria (outcome): I can design a consumer experiment to investigate the factors that influence consumer choices.

Lesson sequence

Before commencing the activity, inform students they will be participating in a task based on a famous social experiment. The Coke vs Pepsi taste test trial was first conducted in 1975 by PepsiCo. This trial was to determine whether consumers were able to discern between the two rival soft drinks. 

All visual symbols, such as packaging and brand, were removed. 'Blind taste testing' aims to test whether a person can tell the difference between different brands of the same type of product without branding.

In this activity students will be tested on their ability to discern between a home-brand, leading brand and fair trade brand of chocolate. Students will be asked to consider the influence that marketing, including branding, has on consumer behaviour.


Before commencing the activity, outline how the blind taste test will operate. Show students three different brands of chocolate. Inform them that they will be given this chocolate to taste. But its branding, including packaging and any trademarks will be removed. Students must then rate each chocolate and try to guess the brand

Ask students to record a personal economic hypothesis. This should include what they consider the experiment will prove. They should consider the links between the brand, price, and quality (including taste) of a product

Conduct a class discussion during which a class hypothesis (or a set of hypotheses) is developed.

Both the personal hypothesis and the class hypothesis will be tested.

Undertake the following steps:

  • Give each student a sample of each type of chocolate to taste. Ensure that the brand of each sample is not discernible or recognisable
  • After tasting, students give each sample a score out of 10 for quality (including taste)
  • Students guess and record the brand for each sample, as well as an estimated price of a 200 gram block of each chocolate.

After all three varieties of chocolate have been tasted, reveal:

  • the real brand names, including whether the brand is home-brand, leading brand or fair trade
  • the price of each.

Extension ideas

High-ability students could be grouped together for this task or they could be asked to adjust this experiment or design their own consumer experiment to determine the level of influence each of the listed factors have on consumer choices. For example, how much influence does brand name have on consumers' choices?


This lesson plan is adapted from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority's unit Choconomics.