Product Packaging Influences Buying

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Packaging and purchase decisions

An exploratory study on the impact of involvement level and time pressure [pic]
Pinya Silayoi, Mark Speece
|The Authors |

Pinya Silayoi, Department of Packaging Technology, Faculty of Agro-Industry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand Mark Speece, School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology and Graduate School, Bangkok University, Bangkok, Thailand |Abstract |

The importance of packaging design as a vehicle for communication and branding is growing in competitive markets for packaged food products. This research utilized a focus group methodology to understand consumer behavior toward such products and how packaging elements can affect buying decisions. Visual package elements play a major role, representing the product for many consumers, especially in low involvement, and when they are rushed. Most focus group participants say they use label information, but they would like it if simplified. The challenge for researchers is to integrate packaging into an effective purchasing decision model, by understanding packaging elements as important marketing communications tools. Propositions for future research are proposed which will help in developing better understanding of consumer response to packaging elements. [pic]

Article type: Literature review, Survey.
Keywords: Food packaging, Design, Consumer behaviour.
Content Indicators: Research Implications** Practice Implications** Originality* Readability** [pic]
British Food Journal
Volume 106 Number 8 2004 pp. 607-628
Copyright © MCB University Press ISSN 0007-070x
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Introduction: packaging at the point of sale

Packaging seems to be one of the most important factors in purchase decisions made at the point of sale (Prendergast and Pitt, 1996), where it becomes an essential part of the selling process (Rettie and Brewer, 2000). Packaged food products are moving into ever larger supermarkets and hypermarkets, and there is a proliferation of products, offering consumers vast choice. The competitive context is ever more intense, both in the retail store and household. With the move to self-service retail formats, packaging increases its key characteristic as the "salesman on the shelf" at the point of sale. The critical importance of packaging design is growing in such competitive market conditions, as package becomes a primary vehicle for communication and branding (Rettie and Brewer, 2000). This discussion examines how packaging influences buying decisions for packaged food products. The package standing out on the shelf affects the consumer decision process, and package design must insure that consumer response is favorable. The problem is made more complex by several conflicting trends in consumer decision-making. On one hand, some consumers are paying more attention to label information, as they become more concerned about health and nutrition (Coulson, 2000; IGD, 2003c). These consumers are more involved in the product decision and use package information more extensively. On the other hand, modern consumers are often looking for ways to reduce time spent on food shopping and preparation. This can influence decision processes, too, as time pressure reduces detailed consideration of package elements (IGD, 2002b; Warde, 1999). While these are important issues, and becoming even more critical in the intensifying competitive environment, there is little comprehensive study on how packaging elements influence brand choice under involvement and time pressure. This paper aims at forming a better understanding of the link between packaging and consumer purchase behavior. The main objective is to examine packaging elements that influence purchase decisions. From...
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