In an economic depression, business is all about revamping your approach, adapting to the situation. While some companies tighten their belts, cutting out discretionary design budgets, others see this as an opportunity to turn things around for themselves by utilizing design and color.
For instance, take McCain Oven Chips (we know them as fries in the states)
Why, they changed their packaging, of course! The bright orange package was replaced with a more muted, natural hue. (Alas, I couldn't find a better product shot to show that the orange is more muted) New photos were taken, and the physical packaging was changed from waxy glossy plastic to a softer matte finish. All these changes reflected a simpler, more "natural" feeling to the product. Viola- a new image was born and a "clarified brand promise of health". I put this in quotes because I'm not completely convinced the change was dramatic enough to change my mind about french fries. Oops, I mean 'chips'.