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The Impact of Packaging Design on Health Product Perceptions


Abstract and Figures

Packaging design has been studied in a variety of contexts but findings remain inconsistent, particularly on the impact of individual elements (e.g. Mitchell & Papvassiliou, 1999; Becker, Rompay, Schifferstein and Galetzka, 2011; Siloyoi & Speece, 2007). Although several studies have found visual cues (picture, typography, colour) to be the most impactful on consumer attention and attitude (e.g. Folkes & Matta, 2004; Silayoi & Speece, 2004), most studies have focused on other elements such as size and shape, (e.g. Ares & Deliza, 2010) and verbal cues (e.g. Klimchuk & Krasovec, 2013). Responding to recent calls for more research (Orth, Campana & Malkewitz 2010), this study investigates the impact of both visual elements and verbal elements on consumer perceptions, specifically looking at product 'healthiness'. To date, there is relatively little research looking at health product perceptions in the marketing literature, despite recognition that health is 'the most significant trend and innovation driver in the global and foods drink market' (Meziane, 2007). This paper applies conjoint analysis to examine the relative importance of four product attributes representing visual and verbal cues: level of information provided on the label (low vs high); presence of an organic 'kite' mark (yes/no); colour (green/orange) and the product image on the label (transparent window vs product photo). It is worth noting that despite being widely found on health food packaging, transparent windows have been considered in only one paper to date (Sioutis, 2011). Three product categories were tested (baby food, soup and coffee) across 288 UK participants. The results find verbal cues to be most important, with the amount of information provided being the key driver.
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The Impact of Packaging Design on Health Product Perceptions
Packaging design has been studied in a variety of contexts but findings remain inconsistent, particularly on the
impact of individual elements (e.g. Mitchell & Papvassiliou, 1999; Becker, Rompay, Schifferstein and
Galetzka, 2011; Siloyoi & Speece, 2007). Although several studies have found visual cues (picture, typography,
colour) to be the most impactful on consumer attention and attitude (e.g. Folkes & Matta, 2004; Silayoi &
Speece, 2004), most studies have focused on other elements such as size and shape, (e.g. Ares & Deliza, 2010)
and verbal cues (e.g. Klimchuk & Krasovec, 2013). Responding to recent calls for more research (Orth,
Campana & Malkewitz 2010), this study investigates the impact of both visual elements and verbal elements on
consumer perceptions, specifically looking at product ‘healthiness’. To date, there is relatively little research
looking at health product perceptions in the marketing literature, despite recognition that health is ‘the most
significant trend and innovation driver in the global and foods drink market’ (Meziane, 2007). This paper
applies conjoint analysis to examine the relative importance of four product attributes representing visual and
verbal cues: level of information provided on the label (low vs high); presence of an organic ‘kite’ mark
(yes/no); colour (green/orange) and the product image on the label (transparent window vs product photo). It is
worth noting that despite being widely found on health food packaging, transparent windows have been
considered in only one paper to date (Sioutis, 2011). Three product categories were tested (baby food, soup and
coffee) across 288 UK participants. The results find verbal cues to be most important, with the amount of
information provided being the key driver.
Keywords: food packaging, conjoint analysis, consumer behaviour
JEL classification: Marketing
1.0 Introduction
Although packaging design has been widely studied in the context of general product
perceptions, there are relatively few studies addressing perceptions around healthiness. This
is somewhat surprising as health has been a dominant trend in Western nations, affecting the
food and beverage industry through the re-formulation and introduction of new heathier style
products in many categories. UK market research found that over 80% of consumer claim to
follow a ‘healthy’ diet (Leatherhead Food Research Institute, 2012). Consumer perceptions
of health food products vary widely, and the drivers of these perceptions remain unclear.
This study explores the impact of packaging design on consumer perceptions of the
healthiness of food products. It considers the relative impact of visual elements of packaging
(e.g. pictures, use of colour) vs the written cues (e.g. amount of information, a nutritional kite
mark). This is an important area for research; although some studies suggest visual cues to
be more effective in attracting consumer attention (Bone and France 2001, Folkes and Matta,
2004; Silayoi, & Speece, 2004), most studies have focused on other elements, such as size,
shape, and information provision. (e.g. Ampuero & Vila, 2006; Yan, Sengupta & Wyer 2014;
Newman, Turri, Howlett & Stokes 2014). This paper begins with a brief review of the
packaging literature, followed by a detailed discussion of the research design and analysis.
2.0 Literature Review
Purchase situations in the real world, and particularly grocery shopping, are characterized by
multiple visual stimuli and buying decisions that are often not fully conscious (Clement,
Kristensen & Gronhaug, 2013). While the visual stimuli in advertising have been the focus
of much research (e.g. Elder and Krishna 2012) the impact of packaging design remains a
nascent domain of academic research (Orth & Malkewitz, 2008). In recent years, research
focus has included the impact of package shape(e.g. Clement, Kristensen & Gronhaug, 2013;
Garber Jr., Hyatt & Boya, 2009; Westerman et al., 2012), colour ( e.g. Kauppinen-Raisanen
& Luomala, 2010; Labrecque & Milne, 2012; Gordon, Finlay & Watts, 1994), imagery (e.g.
Ampuero and Vila, 2006; Underwood, Klein & Burke, 2001), typography (Baik et al., 2011;
Celhay, Boysselle & Cohen 2015), and graphics (Bone and France, 2001). Product
categories considered include (among many others): milk desserts (Ares & Deliza 2010),
Thai convenience foods (Silayoi and Speece 2004), OTC medical products (e Schoorman &
Robben ), yoghurt (Becker et al 2011), wine (Boudreaux and Palmer 2007), and water (Ngo,
Piqueras-Fiszman & Spence 2012).
2.1 Package Design and Healthiness Perceptions
That information on nutritional content can influence consumer expectations and beliefs
about the healthiness of the product is now well established (e.g. Aaron, Mela & Evans 1994;
Kahkonen, Tuorila & Rita 1996, Kozup Creyer and, Burton, 2003, Chandon, 2013). There
have been a number of studies that have investigated relative placement of the information
and depth of detail (Graham, Orquin & Visschers 2012, Sorensen & Clement 2012). What is
less clear is the role of other packaging design elements such as colour, imagery, and shape
on consumer’s health perceptions. A review of the literature identifies only a few studies.
Bone & France (2001) find visual elements (imagery, colour) influence consumer perceptions
of caffeine content in colas. Baik, Suk and Suh (2011) applied conjoint analysis to
determine the relative importance weights of the product name, typography, colour and
imagery (photo vs illustration) for an organic Korean food. They find typography to be the
most important factor in appealing to consumer’s eco-sensibilities and influencing purchase
propensity. In a four country survey of > 8000 current and former smokers, Muttie et al.
(2011) revealed that one fifth of smokers believed incorrectly that some cigarette brands
could be less harmful’ than others, with colour of the labelling influenced perceptions of
relative risk (gold, silver, blue & purple were perceived as less harmful than red or black), as
well as the label verbage (‘light/mild’ and ‘slim’ were considered less harmful than
‘regular’). Conversely, Fenko, Backhaus & van Hoof (2015) found that manipulating the
perceived healthiness of soy products (through design and information) did not influence
attitudes. Schuldt (2013) found that products with green labels were perceived as healthier
than other colours, despite the fact that all the labels conveyed the same information. Soutis
(2011) found shape and the ability to view the product (through a clear window) influenced
health perceptions for cereal and juice products. To date, there is no consensus in the
literature as to which attributes are most influential on health perceptions. This research
attempts to address this gap, looking at the relative impact of visual (colour, imagery) and
informational cues (amount of information, kite mark) to consumer perceptions of the
healthiness of food products. In the next section we discuss the methodological approach and
selected attributes.
3.0 Methodology
This study uses conjoint analysis to examine the relative importance weights for the
packaging elements above. Conjoint analysis has been widely used marketing to evaluate
consumer preferences for products and services (Hair et al., 2006) and is frequently applied
in examining preferences for food product attributes (Ares and Deliza, 2010; Sillayoi and
Speece, 2007; Underwood and Klein, 2002). The necessary data to carry out conjoint
analysis consists of consumer evaluations of alternative package designs.
3.1 Establishing the attributes
A review of the literature indicates that size, shape, colour, graphics (i.e. imagery), and
product information are the main packaging elements potentially affecting consumer
purchase decisions (e.g. Ares & Deliza, 2010). As size is strongly dependent on situation
and consumer demographics, and shape has received substantive research attention (see
Garber, Hyatt & Boya (2009) for a review), we restrict our attention to colour, imagery and
product labelling information. Two levels are developed each product attribute. Although
more variables could be considered, most discussion of conjoint methodology emphasizes the
importance of balancing the number of attributes required to represent the product against the
need to simplify the representation so that it does overly complicate the respondents ranking
task (e.g. Green and Krieger, 1991).
3.2 Colour
Although past research recognizes that colour is an influential design element, empirical
studies with marketing implications are relatively few. Several studies, (Kauppinen-Raisanen
and Luomal, 2010; Grossman & Wisenblit, 1999) find that warm colours (red, yellow) attract
attention better than cool colours (green, blue) and that colours influence product associations
(see Pantin-Sohier, 2009 for a review). Green is often used in packaging when stressing a
healthy, organic or ecological product (Klimchuk & Krasovec, 2013; Schuldt, 2013). Dark
colours are more likely to be associated with a more expensive and/or more effective
products than light colours (Ampuero and Vila 2006). Based on this, the two selected colour
levels for the study are green and orange.
3.3 Imagery
Product images on packaging have been associated with greater product differentiation
(Underwood, Klein & Burke 2001; Ampuero and Vila, 2006). In an experimental study,
Labbe, Pineau & Martin (2012) find packaging imagery influenced perceptions of product
‘naturalness’. Baik et al., (2011) found product photos on packaging to be more associated
with organic attributes than illustrations. Ampuero & Vila (2006) find that product photos
were more often used with ‘safe or upper-classproducts. Although several studies have
focused on the distinctions between illustrations and photos (Underwood & Klein 2002,
Underwood, Klein & Burke 2001), we found only one paper that addressed transparent
windows (Soutis 2011), despite their widespread use on health food packaging. For the
current study, the product label will be presented as either a product illustration or a
transparent window.
3.4 Information
As cited earlier, the large literature on product information in food packaging is testament to
its impact on consumer perceptions (see Hieke and Taylor, 2012 or Hershey et al., 2013 for a
review). Studies have looked at relative placement of information (Rettie and Brewer 2000,),
and particularly the impact of varying amounts of product information on the packaging
(Silayoi and Speece, 2004). Several studies have found that too much information on
packaging negatively impacts consumer response and beliefs (Meyvis & Janiszewski 2002).
For this study, two levels of information were provided (high/low).
Product labelling with certification logos (such as organic or free trade) is a widely used tool
for signalling consumers, but perceptions are often subjective rather than based on familiarity
with the scheme (Janssen and Hamm, 2012). The impact of such logos versus detailed
nutritional information is a matter of ongoing debate (Larceneux, Benoit-Moreau and
Renaudin, 2011, Mitchell and Papvassiliou, 1999). The current research addresses this by
considering the above information with and without an organic health logo. The attributes
and levels are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1: Attributes of package design and their levels
Four attributes, each with two levels, gives rise to 16 possible scenarios (2 x 2 x 2 x 2). As it
would be tedious for respondents to rank their preferences for so many different products, the
Orthoplan subroutine in SPSS was used to produce an orthogonal main effects design, which
ensures the absence of multi-collinearity between attributes. The eight combinations of
attribute level which resulted and were used in the study are shown in Table 2.
Transparent window
Transparent window
Photo image
Transparent window
Photo image
Photo image
Transparent window
Photo image
Table 2 Product descriptions
3.5 Presenting the stimuli
In our study, the eight sets of packaging scenarios were simulated into prototypes and
presented via an online survey. Three products were selected for the study, baby food, soup,
and coffee, based on a pre-test with consumers to identify product categories where
healthiness is a reasonable attribute and where a wide range of product offerings exist. The
designs were done by the third author of this study, who had experience as a designer. Each
respondent saw two product categories. An initial profiling question (family status)
determined whether respondents saw the baby food product (n=112) or the soup product
(n=176), with all respondents seeing the coffee products (n=288). To simulate the packages
in a realistic situation where consumers would be considering multiple items, the eight
pictures of each product were presented at the same time. The order of the products (and
product categories) was rotated to avoid order bias. Respondents were asked to order the 8
design profiles from the most to the least preferred in terms of healthiness. As each product
was selected, it disappeared from the consideration set, and the remaining products were
presented for the next choice decision. This ranking method was chosen because it was clear,
practical and best echoed a grocery purchasing situation where one product would be selected
from many. See Figure 1 for graphical examples of the products with varying attribute
The study collected 288 responses from UK consumers via an online consumer panel. This is
well above the minimum recommended 100-200 sample size to obtain reliable results from
conjoint analysis (Quester and Smart, 1998). Most of the respondents were women (59%).
Level 1
Level 2
Organic Logo
Low amount
High amount of information
Warm colour (Orange)
Cold colour (Green)
Product illustration
Transparent window
4.0 Results
The conjoint results for the baby food, soup and coffee products given in Tables 3-6 indicate
that information plays the most important roles in consumer preferences for all three
categories. The relative importance of this attribute is about 40% for baby food and coffee
products, and 48% for soup products. The other attributes included in this study were closer
to each other. Imagery had a slight edge over the presence of an organic logo or the colour
for all three product categories.
Information is the most important attribute. The higher positive utility for a higher level of
information indicates that sufficient clear information on the packaging influences consumer
preferences. A product photo had the second highest utility scores. A photo was preferred to
the transparent window for all product categories. The presence of an organic logo had a
positive influence on consumer preferences. Green packaging colour was preferred to orange
for all three products, echoing past findings associating green with environmental or ‘healthy’
Figure 1:
Examples of attribute levels for Baby food (B1-B4), Soup (S1-S4) and Coffee (C1-C4)
Relative importance (%)
Product Photo
Transparent window
Organic Logo
Not present
Table 3 Results of Conjoint Analysis for Baby food products (n=112)
Relative importance (%)
Product Photo
Transparent window
Organic Logo
Not present
Table 4 Results of Conjoint Analysis for Soup products (n=176)
Relative importance (%)
Product Photo
Transparent window
Organic Logo
Not present
Table 5 Results of Conjoint Analysis for Coffee products (n=288)
4.1 Segmenting responses to packaging elements
Using the largest response set (for coffee, n=288), cluster analysis (K means) was performed
using the four individual level importance weights. Three (3) clusters were distinct,
separating from each other at relatively large distances in the mental space about attribute
importance. The three clusters had a clear and meaningful interpretation, and thus were taken
to represent three broad segments, characterized by differing emphasis on package attributes
in evaluating packaging. Figure 3 shows the pattern of importance across the three segments.
Reference to Table 6 shows that the segmentation scheme derived from the cluster analysis is
not based on minor differences of opinion. We name these three segments ‘Colour
influenced’, ‘Image seeking’ and ‘Information seeking.’
Information seeking shoppers represented the largest segment, accounting for two-thirds of
the sample. They place the greatest weight on the written information on the package (50%)
followed by the presence of the organic label (22%) which is also information. The Image
seeking group (21% of respondents) is visually driven with the product photo (49%) and
colour (21%) carrying the greatest weight. The Colour Influenced segment was the smallest
(12.5% of sample) with colour the principal driver (43%) and the other factors roughly
equivalent in importance.
Figure 3 Importance weights in three segments
Level of
All consumers
Image Seeking
Organic Logo
Green Colour
Product Photo
Note: Sig = ANOVA significance of difference between italicised means.
Table 6 Mean of importance on 4 packaging elements by segment
5.0 Conclusions
The analysis reveals that the amount of information plays the most important role in
consumer perceptions of healthiness. Although the value of nutritional labelling has been
heavily scrutinised (e.g. Newman et al 2014), this study finds that more text on the packaging
is associated with greater healthiness, even when the additional words contains relatively
little added health information. For instance, the relative importance of information was
40% for both coffee and baby food, despite the coffee information being fairly neutral (‘Full
body with Low acidity’ ‘Balanced, Bold, Clean’, ‘Coffee protects the liver’) while the baby
food much more health focused and detailed. This finding suggests consumers use cues
(amount of text and relative positioning) to aid decision making and challenges the value of
providing detailed nutritional information on front labelling, in line with recent studies
highlighting the preference for simple signposting systems, such (see Hawley et al., 2013 for
a review). The preference for a product photo rather than a transparent window is an
interesting finding, given the current popularity of product windows in packaging. The
reason for this preference may be the more visual appeal of the photos, and suggests
relationship between aesthetics and healthiness. The relatively impact of the organic logo as
a signal for healthiness (16-20%) was surprising, as past studies have suggested that symbols
on packaging have more impact than verbal cues (e.g. Carrillo, Fiszman, Lahteenmaki &
Varela, 2014). The consumers perceived the green packaging to be more ‘healthy’ than the
orange one. This finding extends past research on the health associations of green, which had
focused on red and white as contrasting colours (Schuldt, 2013).
The segmentation analysis suggests that consumers draw on different cues to assess a
product’s healthfulness. The three segments identified follow patterns seen in other research
(e.g. Siloyoi & Speece, 2007). The study has a number of limitations that could be addressed
Organic Logo
by further research. Only two levels of information provision were tested, yet there are many
different degrees and formats for package labelling in the market. We tested the presence of
an organic kite mark only; again there is opportunity to explore a variety of different
informational heuristics. Other colours, product categories and package attributes (e.g.
shape) should be considered, as well as the relationship with other attitudes, such as
willingness-to-pay and propensity to purchase.
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... Sioutis (2011) identified that the presence of transparent windows on packaging designs was highly influential in terms of increasing the expected healthfulness of a product. Conversely, however, Riley, Martins da Silva, and Behr (2015) reported that product imagery, rather than transparent packaging, promoted greater expectations of product healthfulness. Their research also highlighted that the choice of transparency versus imagery seems to be, instead, a relatively unimportant factor when forming health expectations based on packaging design (with the amount of textual product information presented on pack contributing the most to these expectations). ...
... A potentially likely explanation for these conflicting results may be identified by considering the attractiveness of the product in the stimuli used: Sioutis (2011) used orange juice and breakfast cereal as stimuli, with these being photographs of real packaging mock-ups, all using relatively large windows. Meanwhile, Riley et al. (2015) instead used carrot puree, carrot soup, and coffee beans, with these being digital mock-ups, and with small and novel window shapes (e.g., a carrot-shaped window for the carrot products). Perhaps the stimuli used by the former were more attractive to participants, positively mediating this effect seen on expected healthfulness. ...
The sight of food has a profound effect on us, from making us feel hungry/increasing our appetite, through to encouraging us to imagine what it would be like to eat that which we see. Indeed, using enticing visual imagery has been a common and effective tactic in the marketing of food and drink products for many decades now. Such imagery has been common in advertising, on menus, product packaging, and increasingly, on social media as well. However, despite its prevalence, any effect of being able to see the product itself on (or through) the packaging remains relatively poorly understood. Only over the past two decades has this research theme started to receive empirical scrutiny, with a growing body of findings now helping to highlight how the sight of a product influences the evaluations and behaviours of consumers. This chapter covers three main themes: the impact of product imagery printed on the pack; the impact of transparent packaging (thus allowing direct sight of the product itself); and a synthesis of these findings, paired with a number of concrete recommendations for academics, designers, and public health practitioners. We conclude by considering the future for product imagery and transparent packaging.
... Therefore, both product trust and product familiarity modulated the perception of food quality, which impacted purchase intention. Moreover, Riley et al. (2015) stated that transparent windows decrease, rather than increase, the perceived healthiness of the tested products, such as coffee, carrot soup, and carrot baby food. These sensory evaluations suggest that transparent packaging does not always induce salience effects. ...
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Experimental setups that probe consumers’ underlying feelings, purchase intentions, and choices. The Topic Editors are honoured to present 14 multidisciplinary contributions that focus on successful implementations of physiological and neuroscientific measures in the field of cognitive psychology, marketing, design, and psychiatry. Keywords: preference formation, neuroscience, physiology, evaluative processing, consumer behavior
... Therefore, both product trust and product familiarity modulated the perception of food quality, which impacted purchase intention. Moreover, Riley et al. (2015) stated that transparent windows decrease, rather than increase, the perceived healthiness of the tested products, such as coffee, carrot soup, and carrot baby food. These sensory evaluations suggest that transparent packaging does not always induce salience effects. ...
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Transparent windows on food packaging can effectively highlight the actual food inside. The present study examined whether food packaging with transparent windows (relative to packaging with food‐ and non-food graphic windows in the same position and of the same size) has more advantages in capturing consumer attention and determining consumers’ willingness to purchase. In this study, college students were asked to evaluate prepackaged foods presented on a computer screen, and their eye movements were recorded. The results showed salience effects for both packaging with transparent and food-graphic windows, which were also regulated by food category. Both transparent and graphic packaging gained more viewing time than the non-food graphic baseline condition for all the three selected products (i.e., nuts, preserved fruits, and instant cereals). However, no significant difference was found between transparent and graphic window conditions. For preserved fruits, time to first fixations was shorter in transparent packaging than other conditions. For nuts, the willingness to purchase was higher in both transparent and graphic conditions than the baseline condition, while the packaging attractiveness played a key role in mediating consumers’ willingness to purchase. The implications for stakeholders and future research directions are discussed.
... Yet while these initial findings suggest transparency could be a promising way to highlight the healthfulness of a product, subsequent research has found orthogonal results. Riley, da Silva, and Behr (2015) also investigated whether the use of transparent packaging (amongst other design elements) could affect perceived healthfulness of a product. Similarly to Sioutis (2011), a conjoint analysis was used, investigating the level of information (showing a product description vs. not showing a description), imagery (a flavour-relevant drawing or image vs. a transparent window), the presence of an organic logo (present vs. not), and packaging colour (green vs. orange). ...
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Images of food constitute salient visual stimuli in the mind of the consumer. They are capable of promoting both feelings of hunger and the desire for food. It should not, then, come as any surprise that many product packages present the food contained within as a salient aspect of their visual design. Conventionally, this has been achieved primarily by the use of attractive visual imagery showing the product on the outside of the packaging. Nowadays, however, developments in packaging are increasingly enabling designers to add transparent elements, thus allowing consumers to directly see the product before purchase. Yet relatively little is known about the effectiveness of product imagery as compared with transparent packaging. In this review, we address the various ways in which seeing (images of) food influences the consumer. The implications for packaging designs which include: (a) images of food, and (b) transparent elements, are investigated. Guidelines are also provided for designers and brands on the ways in which to take advantage of these effects of being able to see the food.
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This book is the collection of research papers discussed in the 11th International Conference of PIMG. This book discusses about the various business problems related to the field of Marketing Management, Financial Management, Information Technology, Human Resource Management, Social Science and other Contemporary issues and challenges faced by the organizations during the process of growth, competitiveness and innovation. Also the book provides various suggestive measures and practices which can serve as a framework to deploy new policies, system and strategies to manage public and private sector organizations and sustain in the ever changing and dynamic business environment
With the majority of snacking behavior directed toward self-reward, there is a growing area of interest in the use of motivational messaging in front-of-pack (FoP) labeling. It is assumed this form of persuasive labeling may be more effective for unhealthy food items, as such messaging may reduce feelings of guilt that is typically accompanied with unhealthy food consumption. Thus, this study examined the proposed effect using a between-subjects experimental design that manipulated message type and nutritional FoP information. Based on responses from 313 participants, results suggest that nutritional FoP information moderates the effect of motivational messaging for unhealthy foods. Specifically, positive effects of motivational messaging are marginalized by the mere presence of nutritional FoP information. From a policy perspective, mandatory nutritional FoP labeling may be utilized as an effective deterrent that counteracts motivational messaging used by firms to encourage consumption of unhealthy foods. Limitations and directions for future research are provided.
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This chapter discusses different strategies to communicate food health benefits to consumers. Currently, health labels and nutrition information are the main tools used to inform consumers about the health benefits of food products. However, consumers often ignore health claims due to a lack of trust, knowledge, and/or awareness. Another strategy is to use multisensory packaging design that influence healthy food choice indirectly, through ‘nudge’-type interventions. The chapter summarizes current research into the effects of multisensory packaging cues (e.g., colour, shape, material, and sound) and informational cues (e.g., health and organic labels) on healthiness perception, taste evaluation, and product choice. The results suggest that congruent health communication, which integrates multisensory packaging design and informational cues, can decrease consumer scepticism towards health claims and by so doing encourages consumers to make healthier food choices.
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This article examines the influence of the product package (color and shape) on some functional (brand belief) and symbolic associations (brand personality) of the brand image. Hypotheses are tested in an experiment that results in an empirical validation of the role of the package in the brand image enhancement process.
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Pharmaceutical markets are expanding considerably due to the aging population, higher development costs and also direct-to-consumer advertising which entails more demands from consumers and prescriptions from physicians. Pharmaceutical packaging as a visual communication tool is promised to a mounting importance, because of growing blister packaging, safety standards upgrading, expansion of OTC drugs and developing television advertising. This study examines the impact of packaging color on consumers’ expectancies towards the drug and seeks determining if prototypical color codes exist for drug categories. Results show a significant influence of color and darkness on perceived drug potency. Gender differences are discussed.
Conjoint analysis is a useful measurement method for implementing market segmentation and product positioning. The authors describe how recently developed optimal product design models provide a way to test the effectiveness of a selected class of market targeting strategies. They first propose a conceptual framework for describing segmentation in the context of conjoint analysis input data. Then they apply that framework to an illustrative case study entailing physicians’ preferences for a newly developed prescription drug. They conclude with a discussion of the limitations of the proposed method.
This paper examines the impact of product imagery (on packages) on consumers’ beliefs about the brand and their evaluations of both the brand and package. An empirical study using food products demonstrates that packages displaying a picture of the product can communicate information about the brand, and thus change brand beliefs. In addition, consumers who placed the most importance on these beliefs also had a better evaluation of the brand itself when its package included a product picture. This research thus provides evidence that consumers use packaging, an extrinsic cue, to infer intrinsic product attributes. In addition, consumers reported a more positive attitude toward the package itself when it included a product picture.
The package is the first contact between the food and the consumer and an excellent vehicle for communication with the consumer. Visual cues (symbols) on the package can be used to communicate health-related information. Although EU legislation provides for the use of symbols, there could be a still undiscovered or unquantified gap between the consumers' perception of some symbols and how much these symbols appeal and convince. The objective of this research was to study the perception of symbols and their relative importance, combined with verbal health claims, in perceptions of the product's appeal and convincingness in two countries, one Mediterranean (Spain) and the other Scandinavian (Denmark). Four symbols were employed in the study: (1) heart-plus-stethoscope, (2) olives (a symbol often used in Spain but not so much in Denmark), and two not directly linked to food products: (3) active person (a person running towards the sun), and (4) gears. Perceptions of these symbols were studied through word association, free listing and conjoint analysis. Three verbal health claims were presented as either benefits or risks in combination with the images. The results showed that the overall idea of the symbols perceived by the participants was similar in both countries but the culture influenced the connotations attached to the symbols. In addition, the symbols on the packaging were found to be more important than the verbal information.
Two experiments tested whether a general relative preference for objects with rounded rather than angular form (Bar & Neta, 2006, 2007) can be applied in the context of the design of consumer products. Images of product packaging—a chocolate product (Experiment 1) and water and bleach bottles (Experiment 2)—were manipulated with regard to the shape of both contour and graphics. There was a preference for rounded designs that extended to self-report purchase likelihood—with additive effects of contour and graphics shape that could not be accounted for by design typicality or perceived ease of use.
This research examines how package size can influence quality judgments for packaged goods, and also identifies a price-based mechanism for the observed size–quality relationship. Results from several studies show that a product in a smaller package is rated more favorably than the equivalent product in a larger package. Further, this effect is due to the smaller package being associated with a higher unit price (despite having a lower overall price), which suggests that unit price information is more diagnostic than overall price information when forming judgments of product quality. We also find a theoretically-derived reversal of this effect under conditions in which the greater diagnosticity of unit price is overwhelmed by its lower ease of use. Namely, when overall price is the only explicitly-provided price cue and consumers are too distracted to estimate unit price, a larger package is now rated as being better. Finally, two concluding studies examine the downstream consequences of changes in package size, building off our basic conceptualization to document effects on product choice as well as consumption experience.