International Journal of Multidisciplinary Thought,
CD-ROM. ISSN: 2156-6992 :: 05(02):87–98 (2015)
THE INFLUENCE OF PACKAGING ELEMENTS ON THE CONSUMER
Arzu ùener, Bahar Kinaci and Nuri Do÷an
Hacettepe University, Turkey
The present study was planned and conducted with the aim of researching the influence of packaging
elements on the consumer purchase decision. This study was conducted among a random sample of 250
consumers in the Çankaya district of Ankara in 2014. The majority of the participants in the study were
women, had a university education and employees with an income average of 3718 TL. Correlation
analysis results show a statistially significant mid-level positive relationship between the consumer
purchase decision and the following packaging elements: durability, printed information, material, size
and ecological sustainability. A statististically significant low-level positive relationship was established
between the consumer purchase decision and two packaging elements: background image and form.
However, no meaningful relationship was found between the consumer purchase decision and the
packaging elements of graphics, color and font style. Regression analysis results demonstrate that
packaging elements that have the most statistically significant effect on the consumer purchase decision
are durability, printed information and material, respectively.
Keywords: Packaging, Packaging elements, Consumer purchase decision.
Packaging is one of the most important tools in modern marketing today (Minooei et al., 2015: 8; Deliya,
2012: 199). Packaging has become a vital tool of marketing today due to such developments as increasing
social prosperity, deepened awareness of health and hygiene concerns, emphasis on customer satisfaction
and consumer rights protection (Dilber, Dilber & Karakaya, 2012: 160; Bilgili, 2002: 13). This has two
main reasons. Firstly, packaging protects the product from external effects like breakage, evaporation,
spillage, light, heat and cold, therefore prolonging its shelf life (Chaudhary, 2014: 18; Özbucak, 2013: 43;
Yenilmez, 2012: 42). Secondly, packaging speaks to the individual consumer, affecting their choices,
influences brand choices by advertising the product directly from the shelf and thus has an effect on
consumer purchase behaviours (Jafari et al., 2013: 68; Agariya et al., 2012; ølisulu, 2012: 125;
Chaudhary, 2011: 77; Akpõnar & Yurdakul, 2008; Vila & Ampuero, 2007; Young, 2002: 12). It is
estimated that 60-70 % of all purchase decisions are made while the consumer is in the store. While the
marketing messaging in advertisements and on social media may have a role in creating the demand, the
packaging is the final point of communication between a brand and the consumer in a retail environment.
This is why packaging is one of the most important points of interaction between the brand and the
consumer. Therefore, the examination of the relationship between packaging, a critical determinant of
product success and the consumer purchase decision, the focal point of modern marketing practice, is
important (Alervall & Saied, 2013: 8; Aydar, 2010: 21).
88 The Inﬂuence of Packaging Elements on the Consumer...
Studies on the subject focus mainly on packaging elements (ùener, Do÷an & Kõnacõ, 2014;
Shekhar & Raveendran, 2013; Deliya & Parmar, 2012; Kaye, 2011; Göbel, 2008; Silayoi & Speece,
2004). Packaging elements could be defined as all the information that is found on the package, as well as
its visual and structural properties. However, a consensus on the classification of packaging elements has
not been reached in the existing studies. The Butkeviciene, Stravinskiene and Rutelione (2008) studies
includes one of the most comprehensive classification efforts ever made. In this study, elements like
brand, product name, producer or country of origin, general information, usage instructions and special
offers are classified as verbal components; imagery, graphics, colour, form, size, materials and smell as
non-verbal components; while simplicity, ecological sustainability, ergonomics and innovativeness are
considered packaging features. Another comprehensive classification effort may be found in the ùener,
Do÷an and Kõnacõ paper (2014). In this study, packaging elements are divided into three groups called
visual, structural and informational. Visual elements are graphic design, press (font), aesthetics, colour,
shape and size; structural elements are material, ecological sustainability, durability and ergonomics;
informational elements consist of name, brand, producer/country, instructions and information about the
product. Generally, most of the studies examined it is seen that packaging elements divide into two
groups: visual and informational/verbal. Adam and Ali studies consider size, graphics, color, design and
material to be visual elements, while product information, nutritional information and country of origin
are classified as verbal elements. Gilaninian, Ganjinia and Moradi (2013), on the other hand, include
graphic, form, color and size in visual elements while considering general information, production
information and countryto be the informational elements. Similarly to Kuvykaite, Dovaliene and
Navickiene (2009), Chou and Wang (2012) classify graphics, color, size, form and material as visual
elements and product information, producer, country of origin and brand as verbal elements. For Estiri et
al (2010), the visual elements are shape, size and color, while the informational elements are general
information and technology. Silayoi and Speece (2004) classify graphics and size/shape as visual
elements and product information and technology as informational elements.
In some studies packaging elements are not divided into the categories of visual, informational/
verbal or structural packaging elements. For example, Deliya and Parmar (2012) categorize packaging
elements as color, material, wrapper design, innovation, font style, printed information and background
image and and examine the role of these elements on the consumer purchase decision.
It appears that the most prominent packaging elements in most of the studies listed above are
graphics, color, size, form, font style, background image, material, and printed information. Graphics,
color, size and form are elements that initially attract the consumer and start the communication between
the consumer and the product (Teke,2014: 16-17; Clement, 2007: 925). Attention-catching visual
elements of its packaging thus quickly distinguish the product from other similar products from the
consumer's point of view. As font style directly represents the information provided on the packaging, it
has a strong influence on how the desired message is conveyed (Karasu, 2014; 31-43). Background image
creates a desire for the product in the consumer (Kaynak, 2012: 40; Sial et al., 2012; Aygün, 2007: 24).
Material, along with the effect it has on the visual characteristics of the packaging, also defines its
structural features. Printed information, on the other hand, provides facts regarding product attributes
such as product name, brand name, country of origin, ingredients, usage instructions, storage instructions,
nutrition information, special offers, expiry date and product mass/volume (Merwe, Bosman & Ellis,
2014; Kaynak, 2012: 39; Silayoi & Speece, 2007; Prathiraja & Ariyawardana, 2003). Because of the
effect they have, graphics, color, size, form, font style, background image, material and printed
information are considered to be packaging elements for the purposes of this study and their influence on
the consumer purchase decision is examined.
The literature review also revealed a very small number of studies that classify ecological
sustainability and durability as packaging elements (ùener, Do÷an & Kõnacõ, 2014; Butkeviciene,
Stravinskiene& Rutelione, 2008). However, environmental issues and increasing ecological concerns in
the last 30 years have translated into an increase in the consumer preference for eco-friendly/ecologically
sustainable products (Delibaú, 2010: 76; Rokka & Uusitalo, 2008: 516; Fraj & Martinez, 2007: 26).
Arzu ¸Sener et al. 89
Moreover, one of the most important components of product sales is the creation of a sense of trust in the
consumer for the product. In terms of packaging, this sense of trust can be achieved by ensuring that the
packaging protects the product in the best way possible. Protection of the product is the most important
fundamental function of the product. This requires, first and foremost, the packaging to have durability
(Bahattin, 2013: 8; Barnes, Southee & Henson, 2003: 134; Bix et al., 2002: 7; Wambugu, 2014). Thefore,
ecological sustainability and durability are also considered to be packaging elements for the purposes of
this study and their influence on the consumer purchase decision is examined.
Packaging no longer only fulfils its traditional role of protecting the product. It also needs to
communicate a complete message about the product, to get consumer attention in retail stores and to
provide incentive for consumers to use the product through convenience (Rundh, 2013). Therefore it is
important for companies, marketers and packaging designers to know how packaging influences the
consumer purchase decision. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between the
consumer purchase decision and graphics, color, size, form, font style, background image, material,
printed information, durability and ecological sustainability in order to measure the impact of packaging
Importance of the Study
This study is important for the following reasons:
As is the case in many other countries, the food sector in Turkey is growing and developing at an
increasingly fast rate. Packaging is an important tool in this sector as it protects the product and
ensures communication with the consumer. This is the reason why food packaging as it relates to
the Turkish market should be researched and the relationship between food packaging and the
consumer purchase decision should be examined.
A comprehensive survey on the effects of packaging elements on the consumer purchase decision
provided limited knowledge on the subject, especially in regard to Turkey. Therefore, it is thought
that this study will make an important contribution to the field.
The dependent variable of this study is the consumer purchase decision while the independent variables
are graphics, color, size, form, font style, background image, material, printed information, durability and
ecological sustainability. This leads to the following hypotheses:
H1: A statistically significant relationship exists between the consumer purchase decision and at least
one of the packaging elements.
H2:The regression coefficient of at least one of the packaging elements used for predicting the
consumer purchase decision is statistically significant.
This study was conducted among a random sample of 250 consumers in the Çankaya district of Ankara in
2014. Participation was voluntary. Participants were informed about the subject and the purpose of the
story. Further details were provided when they had questions. Survey responses (n= 250) were entered
into an SPSS without the respondents’ personal identifiers.
90 The Inﬂuence of Packaging Elements on the Consumer...
Characteristics of the Sample
Information regarding the participants' demographic characteristics is presented in Table 1. It can thus be
observed that participants in the study are mostly “women” (56.8%) and “married” (62.0%). They are also
predominantly between ages of “26 and 35” (32.8%), present in the “workforce” (66.8%), and educated at
“university level” (50.0%). Economically, 36.0 % of the participants had a monthly income between
“1501 and 3000” TL while 35.6% made “4501 TL and over” per month. The average age of the
participants was 38.2, while the average income was calculated at 3718 TL.
Table 1. Demographic Characteristics of the Participants
N % N %
Gender Female 142 56.8 Marital status Married 155 62.0
Male 108 43.2 Single 95 38.0
18-25 42 16.8
Primary school 26 10.4
26-35 82 32.8 High school 54 21.6
36-45 54 21.6 University 125 50.0
46-55 43 17.2 Post-graduate 45 18.0
56 and above 29 11.6
1500 TL and below 27 10.8
Yes 167 66.8 1501-3000 TL 90 36.0
No 53 21.2 3001-4500 TL 44 17.6
Retired 30 12.0 4501 and above 89 35.6
Total: 250 100,0 Total: 250 100,0
Research data was gathered through a questionnaire form developed by the researchers using theoretical
information after extensive literature review. The survey was administered face-to-face. In order
to receive accurate and reliable responses, special care was taken to ensure that all participants were
over the age of eighteen and capable of making the decision to purchase the food product in question on
The survey form is comprised of two parts: The first part includes questions about demographic
characteristics of the participants. The participants were asked to identify their gender (male/female), age
group as defined in the study (Five age groups were described for the purposes of the study: 18-25, 26-35,
36-45 and 56 and above), their education level (primary school, high school, university and
post-graduate), their marital status (married/single), and their income, based on the total amount earned
from all sources by family members (the four groups determined for this study were as follows: 1500
Turkish Lira (TL) and below, 1501-3000 TL, 3001-4500 and 4501 TL and above). The second part
includes statements formulated to analyse the effects of packaging elements on the consumer purchase
decision. Simple and clear language was used to ensure that all participants could follow and answer the
questions accurately. Question items were designed based on the 5-point likert scale (1: never, 2: rarely,
3: seldom, 4: often and 5: always) to enable the participants to answer each question based on personal
The internal consistency coefficient (Cronbach's alpha) for the entire survey was .71. On the other
hand, as each one of the survey questions was considered a variable, their validity and reliability were
checked by three domain experts, who unanimously agreed on the suitability of the questions.
Arzu ¸Sener et al. 91
This study makes predominant use of two statistical analysis methods. Measurement values for all
dependent and independent variables being over 4, measurements results were assumed to have been
obtained on the equal interval scale and the Pearson Correlation Coefficient and Multiple Regression
Analysis method was utilized (Murray, 2013; De Winter & Dodou, 2010). The Pearson Correlation shows
the level/depth and direction of the relationship between variables. Coefficients between .70-1.00 were
taken to show a high-level relationship, while .70-.30 were classified mid-level and .30-.00 were
considered to be low-level relationships in the evaluation of the correlation coefficients (Büyüköztürk,
2014: 31). Multiple regression analysis, on the other hand, is a type of analysis aiming to predict the
dependent variable based on two or more independent variables (predictor valuables) related to the
dependent variable. Multiply regression analysis allows for the analysis of the total variance explained by
the predictor values regarding the dependent value, the statistical significance of the predictor values and
the strength of the relationship between the predictor variables and the dependent variable (Büyüköztürk,
2014: 98). Preanalyses were conducted on the data to determine whether it met the prerequisite conditions
in terms of normality, linearity, autocorrelation and multicolinearity to ensure that the data collected was
suitable for regression analysis. All coefficients of skewness and kurtosis for the variables were found to
be near zero. None of the variables showed a meaningful deviation from the norm. Scatterpot graphics
were used to test the linearity of the relationships between dependent and independent, which were found
to be linear. Correlations between variables and variance inflation factors (VIF) were used to determine
any possible multicolinearity issues. As none of the correlations between the variables exceeded the
absolute value of .80 and all calculated variance inflation factors were under 5, it was concluded that no
such issues existed. Lastly, the Durban-Watson D statistic was used for autocorrelation, which was
nonexistent. The regression analysis was completed once the date was found to be sufficient for this
Results of the Pearson Correlation Analysis conducted to determine the relationship between packaging
elements and the consumer purchase decision are presented in Table 2. These results show a statistically
significant mid-level relationship between the consumer purchase decision and the following packaging
elements: durability (r= .574; p < .01), printed information (r= .517; p < .01), material (r= .511; p <
.01), size (r= .393; p < .01) and ecological sustainability (r= .341; p < .01). A statististically significant
but low-level relationship was established between the consumer purchase decision and two packaging
elements: background image (r= .219; p < .01) and form (r= .168; p < .01).Thus, in this context the H1
hypothesis was accepted. However, no meaningful relationship was found between the consumer
purchase decision and the packaging elements of font style (r= .085; p > .01), graphics (r= .040; p > .01)
and color (r= .020; p > .01).
Table 2. The Correlation Between the Packaging Elements and the Consumer Purchase Decision
Concumer Purchase Decision
Pearson Correlation Sig. (2-tailed) N
Durability .574** .000 250
Printed information .517** .000 250
Material .511** .000 250
Size .393** .000 250
Ecological Sustainability .341** .000 250
92 The Inﬂuence of Packaging Elements on the Consumer...
Background image .219** .000 250
Form .168** .008 250
Font Style .085 .180 250
Graphics .040 .524 250
Color .020 .752 250
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
A summary of the results of the multiple regression analysis conducted to answer the second sub-
problem of the study is presented in Tables 3 and 4.
Tablo 3. Model Summary
Model R R Square Adjusted R Square Std. Error of the
1 .728a .530 .511 .51605
Table 3 presents information on the strength of the relationship between the packaging elements and
the consumer purchase decision. Calculated multiple correlation (R) value (= 0.728) demonstrated a
strong relationship between the packaging elements and the consumer purchase decision. According to
the R square results, %53 of the consumer purchase decision can be explained by the packaging elements.
In other words, it could be said that the packaging elements have a high-level influence on the consumer
purchase decision. The statistical significance of this influence was tested by a variance analysis, the
results of which are presented in Table 4. These show that the influence of the packaging elements on the
consumer purchase decision are meaningful predictors at p<.01 level. Thus, within this context the H2
hypothesis was accepted. This means that at least one of the regression coefficients for the packaging
elements is statistically significant in the prediction of the consumer purchase decision.
Tablo 4. ANOVAa
Model Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig.
1 Regression 71.828 10 7.183 26.972 .000b
Residual 63.648 239 .266
Total 135.476 249
a Dependent variable: the consumer purchase decision.
b Predictors: (Constant), graphics, color, size, form, font style, background image, material, printed information,
durability, ecological sustainability.
Regression coefficients calculated to determine the significance level of prediction strength of the
packaging elements in predicting the consumer purchase decision, standard deviation of the regression
coefficients, standardized regression coefficients, t statistics and their probability (p) values are presented
in Table 5. These results show that, based on the significant t statistic and the greatness of the
standardized regression coefficients, the packaging elements of durability, printed information and
material have a statistically significant influence on the consumer purchase decision. On the other hand,
graphics, color, size, form, font style, background image and ecological sustainability have a low-level
influence on the model with a regression coefficient of 0.05, which was not found to be statistically
Arzu ¸Sener et al. 93
One of the aims of regression analysis is to be able to make projections about the future. This
requires the creation of a mathematical regression model. Accordingly, Beta coefficients and significance
levels presented in Table 5 provide information about the significance of the projection and the usability
of the model. The mathemathical regression model formed to include all variables is as follows:
Y = 0.788 – 0.038 (graphics) – 0.033 (color) – 0.021 (size) + 0.000 (form) + 0.069 (font style) + 0.070
(background image) + 0.202 (material) + 0.291 (printed information) + 0.311 (durability) + 0.046
The mathemathical regression model created for this study shows that it is possible to predict the
consumer purchase decision if anything regarding dimensions are known.
Tablo 5. Co-Efficients a
Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
(Constant) .788 .262 3.006 .003
Durability .311 .051 .343 6.142 .000
Printed information .291 .053 .295 5.495 .000
Material .202 .036 .279 5.575 .000
Background image .070 .038 .107 1.839 .067
Font Style .069 .040 .096 1.724 .086
Ecological Sustainability .046 .041 .059 1.119 .264
Form .000 .033 .000 -.008 .994
Size -.021 .044 -.026 -.476 .635
Color -.033 .042 -.046 -.779 .437
Graphics -.038 .045 -.053 -.836 .404
a Dependent variable: the consumer purchase decision.
Durability was found to be the most influential packaging element on the consumer purchase decision in
the study conducted to determine the influence of the packaging elements on the consumer purchase
decision. Packaging elements of proctection provided by the packaging and durability were found to have
the strongest influence on the consumer purchase decision in the Dilber, Dilber & Karakaya study (2012).
This could be interpreted to mean that durability is an important factor in building consumer trust and has
a positive effect on the consumer purchase decision. Moreover, further studies demonstrate that durability
is a crucial element of protection, one of the most important functions of packaging (Bahattin, 2013: 8;
Barnes, Southee & Henson, 2003: 134; Bix et al., 2002: 7; Wambugu, 2014).
The research results show that the second largest influence on the consumer purchase decision is
printed information. Various other studies also found that printed information (informational/verbal
elements) have more influence on the consumer purchase decision compared to other packaging elements
(ùener, Do÷an & Kõnacõ, 2014; Estiri et al., 2010; Kuvykaite, Dovaliene & Navickiene, 2009;
Butkeviciene, Stravinskiene & Rutelione, 2008). This may be explained by the fact that most of the
participants in the study were educated at university level or more and therefore were more inclined to
look for information about the product on the packaging. In fact, the study conducted by Örücü &
94 The Inﬂuence of Packaging Elements on the Consumer...
Tavúancõ (2001) concluded that label information on the packaging has a stronger influence on the
consumer purchase decisions of consumers with higher levels of education.
Material is directly related to the durability of the packaging and effects the consumer's quality
perception as durable packaging could only be possible with the use of durable materials (Adam & Ali,
2014). Thus material is not only important for the protection function of the packaging; it is also a crucial
factor in building consumer trust for the product. This study found material to be the third most influential
packaging element on the consumer purchase decision. Some previous studies also show a meaningful
statistical relationship between packaging material and the consumer purchase decision (ùener, Do÷an
and Kõnacõ, 2014; Shah, Ahmad and Ahmad, 2013; Bilgili, 2002: 70).
While correlation analysis results of the research data indicated a mid-level meaningful relationship
between the consumer purchase decision and the packaging elements of size and ecological sustainability,
regression analysis results show that the influence of these packaging elements on the consumer purchase
decision is not statistically significant. Similarly, while correlation analysis results of the research data
indicated a low-level but meaningful relationship between the consumer purchase decision and the
packaging elements of background image and form, regression analysis results show that the influence of
these packaging elements on the consumer purchase decision is not statistically significant. On the other
hand, correlation analysis results of the research data showed no meaningful relationship between the
consumer purchase decision and the packaging elements of graphics, color and font style, and regression
analysis results show that the influence of these packaging elements on the consumer purchase decision is
not statistically significant. However, studies demonstrating statistically significant effects of size,
ecological sustainability, background image, form, graphics, color and font style on the consumer
purchase decision exist in the literature (Chaudhary, 2011: 80; González, Huynh & Yousef, 2009: 31;
Bilgili, 2002: 71). Cultural differences and variations in samples could explain such differences between
research results in various studies.
General analysis of the results implies that consumers in Turkey attach more importance to the
protection, information and communication functions of packaging. Packaging serves to protect the
product against physical and mechanical effects as well as to preserve its quality. The protection function,
which ensures that the product reaches the customer clean and in good condition, is being used more
efficiently thanks to developments in packaging technologies. That consumers value the protection
function of packaging over visual elements could indicate their high level of awareness regarding the
need to protect the product from the production line until it reaches the consumer and could be interpreted
to mean that they make informed choices when purchasing food products. On the other hand, consumers
reported that written information provided on the packaging was an important factor affecting their
purchase decision. Modern marketing requires an effort beyond developing an appropriately-priced good
product to pitch to a target audience to ensure effective communication with the said audience. While
graphics, color and font style are important packaging elements in ensuring effective communication with
the consumer, results of this study show that consumers place more importance on getting essential
written information on the packaging regarding their health and safety.
This is a favorable result for the developing Turkish food industry. It is clear that advertising
focusing on the visual elements of the packaging will not get a very positive response from these
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