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Public Health Nutrition: 13(2), 297–299 doi:10.1017/S1368980009993168
Invited commentary
Food packaging: the medium is the message
In considering the marketing of food products to children,
the role of packaging warrants closer attention. The use of
packaging as a marketing vehicle is evidently increasing.
Marketing analysts suggest two reasons for this. First,
many food choices are made at the point of sale, so ‘the
package becomes a critical factor in [the] consumer
decision-making process, because it communicates to
consumers at the time they are actually deciding in the
. Second, the nature of the food advertising market
is changing. Estimates from the USA suggest that expen-
diture on food advertising is declining
, and that other
methods of marketing such as packaging now have
greater weight in the marketing mix
Food packaging has two basic functions. The first is
practical. Packaging extends the shelf-life of the product,
and makes it easier to transport and display. Second is its
marketing function. Packaging is now an essential com-
ponent of the integrated marketing strategies of the food
industry. It combines all the ‘Ps’ of marketing: the package
contains the product,packages convey messages about
product attributes to consumers as part of public relations,
and often its price, while also carrying promotions.By
combining all these different aspects, packaging has
become an integral part of the product
How food packaging is used to attract children
The most obvious marketing technique used on packa-
ging to attract children is promotions, like competitions,
collector promotions and premiums (Box 1). Many of
these take the form of cross-promotions, in which man-
ufacturers use the products of other companies such as
animated characters and toys from television, movies and
Internet games to promote their own products. Other tie-
ins are with ‘branded’ athletes, sports teams and events,
theme parks, and charities. The US Federal Trade Com-
mission recently reported that cross-promotions on
packaging are now a significant strategy used to market
foods to children and adolescents
. Another recent study
found that the use of cross-promotions on food packages
targeted at children in the USA increased by 78% between
2006 and 2008 in the supermarket surveyed, and only
18 % of the cross-promoted products met accepted
nutrition standards
. More than half of the cross-
promotions appealed primarily to children between 6 and
12 years of age, and over one-fifth targeted pre-school
These on-pack promotions typically form part of
broader campaigns promoting the product that include
other techniques like advertising and retailer displays.
Promotions may also play a public relations role if they
are for charitable, educational or health-related activities.
Public relations is also one of the functions of on-pack
nutrition information and nutrient and/or health claims.
As well as providing information, these are designed to
boost the image of the company and are increasingly
used as a form of promotion. ‘Health’ sells, and nutrient
and health information and claims are used to imply to
parents that the product is suitable and ‘good’ for their
Often (perhaps less so for child-targeted products), the
package also displays the price of the product. The size of
the package is also a crucial part of the pricing strategy:
large packages, for example, often have lower unit prices
than smaller ones, intending to give the impression to
parents of good value. But package size may also be small
in order to directly attract children. Convenient or fun
package shapes can also be used to attract children, as
well as the so-called ‘packaging technology’, such as the
application of straws to small juice packages. Parents may
also be encouraged to buy products for their children
with technologies that make the product easier to handle,
such as ease of opening and closing for snacks when on
the move.
Box 1
Attributes of child-friendly food packaging
>The application of promotions, notably competi-
tions, collector promotions and premiums, which
often use cross-promotions.
>The application of nutrition and health-related
information and/or claims.
>Size and shape.
>The packaging ‘technology’, such as additions like
straws, how it opens and closes, how freshness is
maintained, durability.
>Typescript used for the different written pieces of
>The colours used on the package.
>Other visual imagery, such as shapes, symbols,
and the depiction of the food product.
>The depiction of the brand and brand characters.
rThe Author 2010
The importance of typescript, colour and other visuals
to attract children has been highlighted by a recent
Canadian study
. The study found that the food packa-
ges examined were dominated by four colours: blue,
yellow, red and green. About 85 % of the food products
surveyed used graphics and typescripts that were like
those used in cartoons, or as if drawn by children. Three-
quarters of the packages included a cartoon visual, a
tenth used a competition to attract children, and over
three-fifths included a nutrition claim on the front of the
Then there is branding, which is an intrinsic part of
packaging. Unlike the loose sacks and wrapping once
used, individual packs provide a place to stamp a brand.
Branding distinguishes the product from the same or
similar products made for other companies, and aims to
create ‘brand loyalty’. In other words, children learn to
like and trust the brand and so stay with it for life, and
may also buy other products made by the same company.
Along with the other attributes of the package, the brand
characters used on the packaging of products aimed at
children are an important part of building this brand
. As put by the food company Kellogg’s: ‘The
packaging has to provide a representation of the brand
identity and appeal to the target market’
Effects of food packaging
Several studies have examined the effect of food packa-
ging. A US study on the perception of breakfast cereal
packaging by children showed that packaging helps to
create brand awareness, because it ‘has the power to
evoke images of its products, brand names and salient
attributes from the memories of young, inexperienced
. A focus group study on breakfast cereals in
the UK also found that children can recognise the char-
acters used on the front of breakfast cereal packs
Packaging also shapes consumer perception of the
product. Research on adults indicates that shoppers use
packaging to aid their decisions at point of purchase
Package attributes such as colour and technological
features have been found to affect product choice,
depending on the type of consumer
. Packaging also
influences what children think about food products. In
another Canadian study, focus groups were used to
identify how children respond to food packaging
. The
study indicates that children are affected by the look of
food packages and the on-pack promotions. The results
varied with age: younger children were more likely to
choose a product because of cross-promotions, while
older children were more influenced by the visuals of the
package. Several of the children said that it was the colour
of the packaging that attracted them to the product.
Another study from the USA has examined how
packaging – especially the brand on the package – affects
perceptions of taste
. A total of sixty-three children
aged 3–5 years were provided with five pairs of identical
foods and drinks from McDonalds, with one of the pairs
being in branded McDonald’s packaging and the other in
plain packaging. The children consistently preferred the
taste of the food in the branded packaging, even though it
was exactly the same as the food in the plain packaging.
An older study from the UK also has found that attractive
packages targeting children are likely to encourage them
to pester their parents to buy the product
. In the focus
group study, mothers said they yield to this pressure if
they perceive the product as being ‘healthy’. Mothers also
preferred colourful packaging of ‘healthy’ yoghurt relative
to plain packaging and said that that colourful, captivat-
ing packaging is more likely to encourage children to try
‘healthy’ foods.
However, packaging can mislead children and parents
into thinking that the product is ‘healthy’ when it is not.
The Canadian studies
found that most of the products
with nutrition claims targeted at children were actually
not very nutritious when judged against the cited nutrition
criteria, but children perceived products as ‘healthy’ simply
because the package included claims. They also said that
the presence of an ingredient list, a ‘health’ front-of-pack
symbol, or a symbol denoting that the food contained no
allergenic products, made them think the product was
healthy. Colours (especially green) and pictures on the front
of the package also affected their beliefs about whether the
product was healthy or not. A study on the perception of
breakfast cereal packaging – which predated the extensive
use of front-of-pack symbols – found that children were not
aware of the nutrition label, suggesting that visuals have a
much more powerful impact in conveying the perception of
healthiness to children
. In a real sense, the packaging has
become the product.
So what should be done?
The whole point of taking action to reduce the amount of
food marketing to children is to lessen preference for,
and sales and consumption of, fatty, sugary and/or salty
processed foods. If packaging attracts children to eat
these products, then there is a case for intervention. But
packaging is not subject to any of the regulatory
approaches to food marketing to children
. And while a
number of leading transnational food and drink manu-
facturing companies have pledged, more or less, that they
will not advertise any products directly to children under
the age of 12, or else will only advertise products that
meet their own nutrient criteria, child-friendly packaging
is not included in the pledges
. In fact, one of the
core principles of industry-led efforts to address market-
ing to children is that it should only concern promotions
that target children directly, and, as shown here, packa-
ging is used to target children both directly and indirectly
298 C Hawkes
(via their parents) putting it outside the scope of the
pledges. As put by Unilever, packaging is excluded
from their pledge on marketing to children because it is
‘primarily influential to the consumer at the point of pur-
chase, when adults accompany very young children and
make final purchasing decisions’
. In other words, it is
perfectly legitimate to use marketing techniques, however
powerful, when these target adults as well as children even
though the aim of boosting sales is the same.
There is a whole other, probably even more important,
reason why regulating packaging would not be a popu-
lar move with transnational and other food and drink
manufacturers: the package is now an inherent part of
the product. The medium of the package contains the
message of the product. This means that changing the
package is essentially reformulating the product, so
de-kiddifying the packaging would not just change the
more superficial ways in which products are marketed
(as implied by current voluntary marketing pledges), or
their content (such as changing the levels of salt, sugar,
etc. as implied by current industry reformulation strate-
gies), but the entire essence of the product. That makes
intervening in packaging a politically more dangerous
game than regulating advertising – and, potentially, even
more effective.
Much of the material in this commentary was originally
researched as part of correspondence with the Depart-
ment of Health, England. The information about food
industry pledges was obtained as part of a project with
Yale University funded by the Robert Wood Johnson
Corinna Hawkes
Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health
University of Sa
˜o Paulo
˜o Paulo 01246-907, Brazil
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Invited commentary 299
... However, current trend is moving towards other channels like internet, child magazines and onsite promotions at supermarkets and shopping malls 4,5 . Marketing research has shown that companies tend to invest more funds on supermarket promotions than all other modes, because it has been shown that the influence is more when any item is promoted at the time of purchase 6,7 . The best methods to advertise or promote child targeted food items at the time of purchase are attractive packages, attractive "health" claim or attractive promotional item attached to the specific product 6,8,9 . ...
... Marketing research has shown that companies tend to invest more funds on supermarket promotions than all other modes, because it has been shown that the influence is more when any item is promoted at the time of purchase 6,7 . The best methods to advertise or promote child targeted food items at the time of purchase are attractive packages, attractive "health" claim or attractive promotional item attached to the specific product 6,8,9 . Out of the above child targeted marketing strategies, product package plays a major role 6,8,9 . ...
... The best methods to advertise or promote child targeted food items at the time of purchase are attractive packages, attractive "health" claim or attractive promotional item attached to the specific product 6,8,9 . Out of the above child targeted marketing strategies, product package plays a major role 6,8,9 . It significantly influences the act of purchasing, as 85% of the super market buying is made on impulse at the time of purchase 10 . ...
... Traditional mass media campaigns or the persuasive use of product packaging attract children's attention (6). In particular, in continuous evolution and growth, the packaging strategy has become an element that reinforces the commercial appeal of food products aimed at children (4,7). In these cases, its use has been socially questioned when it comes to unhealthy products [according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO)], a category exceptionally dynamic in the use of commercial persuasion (8,9). ...
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Little can be added about the worldwide concern over the exponential increase in obesity and child overweight problems. Much of the unhealthy eating habits occur at the time of food choice. The enormous influence of marketing strategies in general, and packaging in particular, has been highlighted here. In this respect, public policies that tend to direct choices toward healthier options have been developed. However, the usefulness of such policies will depend on evidence of how different packaging elements can influence children. This systematic review (SR) aims to compile the knowledge available to date on the influence of packaging on food choices and eating behaviours in children. Methodologically, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews (PRISMA) guidelines have been followed to select papers. We also assessed the risk of bias in the studies analysed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale (NOS). The initial search strategy found 2,627 articles, although only 20 of them met the eligibility criteria. Data from the studies were extracted, categorised, and analysed. The results indicate that most of the packaging elements have some effect on children’s food choices or food intake. The use of Cartoon is the element with the most consistent evidence of influence. Despite the number of studies and public initiatives developed to promote this informative and persuasive element, less consistency has been found regarding the effect of Nutrition Labelling. Therefore, the results found should be considered by both governments and organisations when promoting public policies that work for the wellbeing of children.
... Paketleme pazarlama karmasının diğer tüm p'leriyle iç içe geçmiş tek elemanıdır ve pazarlamanın tüm stratejik alanlarında anahtar bir role sahiptir (Ford vd., 2011;Hawkes, 2010;Nickels ve Jolson, 1976). Bu nedenle paketleme pazarlama karması içindeki ağırlığını giderek arttırmaktadır. ...
... However, the latter group represents a target of interest insofar as they are both consumers and buyers of food products and they are likely to strongly influence the purchasing decisions of their parents [21]. In addition, young people are often the target of marketing for products of which consumption should be limited [22], while they do not always have sufficiently developed critical thinking capacities (insufficient literacy in advertising), thus making them more vulnerable to these techniques [23]. Finally, given the growing risk of obesity and diseases associated with nutritional factors, children and adolescents are considered a priority target for nutritional prevention actions. ...
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To date, no studies have evaluated the appropriation of the front-of-pack Nutri-Score labeling among adolescents, although they are both consumers and buyers of food products. Therefore, the objectives of the present study were (1) to assess Nutri-Score awareness, perception and self-reported impact on food choices in French adolescents and (2) to identify the determinants associated with higher Nutri-Score awareness and self-reported impact on food choices. A web-based survey was conducted in November 2021 among 1201 adolescents. Multivariate logistic models were used to evaluate the relationships between individual factors and Nutri-Score awareness and self-reported impact on food choices. Almost all the adolescents reported to know the Nutri-Score (97.0%) and more than 9 out of 10 considered this logo easy to understand and easy to identify on food packages. Finally, 54% self-reported that the label had already impacted their food choices. Girls (2.28 (1.09–4.77), p = 0.028) and the 15–17-year-olds (3.12 (1.32–7.35), p = 0.0094) were more likely to be aware of the label compared with their respective counterparts (i.e., boys and the 11–14-year-olds). Regarding the impact of food choices, the use of the Nutri-Score by the parents was the most determinant criterion (7.74 (5.74–10.42), p < 0.0001). Thus, promotion campaigns should target both adolescents and parents.
... When consumers stand in front of the shelves in a supermarket, food packaging attracts their attention, and plays an important role in shaping consumers' food choice behavior. Food packaging not only protects food and extends the shelf life of food products, but also conveys the information like product attributes, price, and promotional messages (Hawkes, 2010). For customers, food packaging is a direct source to obtain food-related information such as the food category, brand, manufacturer, and expiration date, which form the basis of food decisionmaking. ...
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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
... bensmittelformen oder Hinweise auf "Spiel und Spaß", etwa durch Sammelfiguren oder Rätsel (Abrams, Evans und Duff 2015;Berry und McMullen 2008;Düren und Kersting 2003;Elliott 2008;Hawkes 2010). ...
... En Latinoamérica, en Estados Unidos y en el ámbito global, las investigaciones documentan una y otra vez una alta exposición a la publicidad televisiva de alimentos ultraprocesados, especialmente en horario infantil y de máxima audiencia [65][66][67][68][69][70] . Las técnicas de marketing que atraen desmesuradamente a los niños, como el uso de personajes de dibujos animados o series, promociones y mensajes de diversión y emociones son habituales en la televisión y en los envases de los productos [71][72][73][74] . No hay tanta investigación sobre otros tipos de marketing de alimentos dirigidos a la infancia. ...
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Resumen El entorno alimentario es un factor importante que contribuye a las dietas poco saludables en la niñez y, por tanto, a las crecientes tasas de obesidad. Los países de Latinoamérica han recibido el reconocimiento internacional por su liderazgo en la implementación de políticas dirigidas a distintos aspectos del entorno alimentario. Sin embargo, los datos sobre la naturaleza y la gravedad de la exposición de los niños a entornos alimentarios poco saludables en la región latinoamericana y entre los latinos que viven en Estados Unidos son aún insuficientes. El objetivo de esta revisión es utilizar el marco conceptual de la Red Internacional para la Investigación, Monitoreo y Apoyo a la Acción para la Alimentación, Obesidad y Enfermedades No Transmisibles (INFORMAS, por sus siglas en inglés) para crear un entorno alimentario saludable con el que (i) comparar los elementos clave de los entornos alimentarios en relación con la obesidad en Latinoamérica y entre los latinos que viven en Estados Unidos; (ii) describir la evidencia sobre soluciones que podrían contribuir a mejorar los entornos alimentarios relacionados con la obesidad infantil; y (iii) establecer prioridades de investigación que permitan identificar estrategias de lucha contra la obesidad en estas poblaciones. Hemos detectado la necesidad de un amplio conjunto integrado de evidencias que sirva de respaldo para establecer un conjunto adecuado de políticas que mejoren el entorno alimentario al que están expuestos los niños de Latinoamérica y los niños latinos que viven en Estados Unidos y para traducir de forma más eficiente las soluciones políticas, de manera que contribuyan a reducir los crecientes niveles de obesidad infantil en estos países.
Food contact materials (FCM) are all materials and articles intended to come into direct or indirect contact with food. The definition of food contact materials and articles is essentially the same in different countries but with slight differences. Food contact materials are made of base materials, together with additives, adjuvants, and polymerization aids based on different purposes, to glue, protect, and impress base materials. Food contact materials must be sufficiently designed or controlled to prevent substances from being transferred to food in amounts that could endanger human health, result in an unacceptable change in the composition of food, or result in deterioration of its organoleptic properties. Risk assessment needs to be done for all migrants, including intentionally added substances (IASs) and non-intentionally added substances (NIAS). Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics used in various products and epoxy resins used as protective layers for food and beverage cans and as coatings for drinking water storage tanks. Regulatory bodies and expert groups worldwide have conducted extensive risk assessment on BPA in the past 10 years. The Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on BPA Toxicity (CLARITY-BPA) program was developed to study the full range of potential health effects from exposure to BPA. The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) has started to reassess the potential hazards of BPA in food and review again the temporary safe level set in EFSA’s previous 2015 full-risk assessment.KeywordsFood contact materialIASNIASMigrationBPA
Objective To explore and categorise the nature of promotional claims on packaging of commercial baby foods (CBFs). Setting UK Methodology An online survey of CBFs (for infants up to 12+ months) in 7 UK supermarkets and Amazon in 2020. On-pack promotions were classified as marketing, composition, health, and nutrient claims using the WHO Nutrient Profile Model draft for infants and young children, and European Union regulation on health and nutrition claims. Main outcome measure Distribution and proportion of claim types, and association between product characteristics and claim types. Results A total of 6265 promotional claims were identified on 724 products. Marketing (99%, n=720), composition (97%, n=705) and nutrient claims (85%, n=616) were found on the majority of CBFs, compared with health claims (6%, n=41). The median (Q1, Q3) number of total claims per product was 9 (7, 10), marketing 5 (3, 6), composition 2 (1, 2), nutrient 2 (1, 2), and 0 (0, 0) health. Marketing claims were mainly texture (84%, n=609, eg, super smooth) and taste related (70%, n=511, eg, first tastes). The main composition claim was organic (63%, n=457) while nutrient claims were mainly around ‘no added’ or ‘less’ sugar (58%, n=422) and salt (57%, n=417). Baby led weaning claims (BLW) (eg, encourages self-feeding) were found on 72% of snacks, with a significantly higher (p<0.01) number of BLW claims on snacks (99%, n=209) compared with other product types. Conclusion Promotional claims on CBF packaging are extensively used and, for the most part, unregulated. CBFs are promoted using ‘healthy halo’ connotations that might confuse parents. Regulations on their use should be implemented to avoid inappropriate marketing.
Food packaging design has become a key component of the marketing mix of companies to ensure the long-term success of their products, and to convey information that set apart their products from competitors. The aim of this review is to critically discuss the role of food packaging on children's diet. Food package design plays a key role in attracting children and parents' attention, shaping product associations, and influencing their purchase decisions. Packaging elements attracting children's attention and misleading health-related visual and textual cues may encourage children and their parents to choose energy-dense food products with excessive content of sugar, fat, and sodium. Results from this review suggest that comprehensive packaging regulations are necessary to protect children's health and encourage healthier eating habits from early years. Such regulations should go beyond products targeted to children, making informed decisions easier to encourage healthier choices, and including restrictions on the use of health-related cues on all products, as it ultimately influences the diet and the food available in the household.
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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.
Creating an environment in which children in the United States grow up healthy should be a high priority for the nation. Yet the prevailing pattern of food and beverage marketing to children in America represents, at best, a missed opportunity, and at worst, a direct threat to the health prospects of the next generation. Children's dietary and related health patterns are shaped by the interplay of many factors-their biologic affinities, their culture and values, their economic status, their physical and social environments, and their commercial media environments-all of which, apart from their genetic predispositions, have undergone significant transformations during the past three decades. Among these environments, none have more rapidly assumed central socializing roles among children and youth than the media. With the growth in the variety and the penetration of the media have come a parallel growth with their use for marketing, including the marketing of food and beverage products. What impact has food and beverage marketing had on the dietary patterns and health status of American children? The answer to this question has the potential to shape a generation and is the focus of Food Marketing to Children and Youth. This book will be of interest to parents, federal and state government agencies, educators and schools, health care professionals, industry companies, industry trade groups, media, and those involved in community and consumer advocacy. © 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
This book explores the concern about the dramatic increase in childhood obesity in the United States which has prompted Congress to request that the Federal Trade Commission conduct a study of food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents. The results of that study - an analysis of 2006 expenditures and activities by 44 companies - are presented here. Included are not only the traditional measured media - television, radio, and print, but also activities on the Internet and other new electronic media, as well as previously unmeasured forms of marketing to young people, such as packaging, in-store advertising, event sponsorship, and promotions that take place in schools. Integrated advertising campaigns that combine several of these techniques and often involve cross-promotions - linking a food or beverage to a licensed character, a new movie, or a popular television program, dominate today's landscape of advertising to youth. The data presented in this book tell the story of food and beverage marketing in a year just preceding, or early in the development of, industry self-regulatory activities designed to reduce or change the profile of such marketing to children. Furthermore, this book, which compiles information not previously assembled or available to the research community, may serve as a benchmark for measuring future progress with respect to these initiatives.
To elicit the visual memory of packaging that facilitates consumers’ identification and selection of products from store displays, children were asked to draw a cereal box and the results were compared with actual cereal boxes. Over 97 percent spontaneously drew a cereal box with a brand name and other brand related symbols. This may be the first time to have a glimpse of the consumer’s evoked set as it really exists. The results suggest that one’s evoked set is not just a list of brand names in the mind, but an elaborate symbolic environment made up of visual and verbal codes in which the brand name is nested. Major implications for brand and package management are discussed.
Purpose This paper aims to examine salient issues in the packaged food business with special focus on packaging and its crucial role covering food marketing, best practices in the food and drinks industry, product innovation, food safety and quality, food supply chain management and emerging trends. Design/methodology/approach Phenomenological research has raised awareness and increased insight into critical issues in the packaged food business. The approach is based on observation of the business environment, online research, a close watch on British food industry, analysis of papers in journals, and brainstorming with co‐researchers for four years. Findings The research has found that the key trends fostering growth in developed packaged food markets are convenience, functionality and indulgence. The real value of packaging is that the package is an integral part of the product today. Besides, food products frequently require the general marketing approaches and techniques applied to the marketing of other kinds of products and services. In addition, for the food industry to improve further, it needs to adopt the best practices shown in this research paper. Moreover, while going for product innovation, some critical success factors must be taken into account. Furthermore, the objective of all quality assurance systems exercised by food manufacturers and processors, is to produce safe products that comply with manufacturers' specifications, including the requirements established by governments. On top of that, the companies that are the most progressive in the management of the supply chain are expected to be the most successful and profitable. Last, but not least, companies should look forward to emerging trends for business success. All these critical issues must be observed in a packaged food business for superior performance. Research limitations/implications Company surveys have not been performed due to the limited access of the research to well‐developed Western food markets. Hence, company surveys may be the next step to further identify critical issues in the packaged food business from the perspective of existing corporations. Originality/value This paper offers a holistic view that would guide a reader to identify critical issues in packaged food in existing or new businesses.
Purpose The importance of packaging design and the role of packaging as a vehicle for consumer communication and branding are necessarily growing. To achieve communication goals effectively, knowledge about consumer psychology is important so that manufacturers understand consumer response to their packages. this paper aims to investigate this issue. Design/methodology/approach The paper examines these issues using a conjoint study among consumers for packaged food products in Thailand, which is a very competitive packaged food products market. Findings The conjoint results indicate that perceptions about packaging technology (portraying convenience) play the most important role overall in consumer likelihood to buy. Research limitations/implications There is strong segmentation in which packaging elements consumers consider most important. Some consumers are mostly oriented toward the visual aesthetics, while a small segment focuses on product detail on the label. Originality/value Segmentation variables based on packaging response can provide very useful information to help marketers maximize the package's impact.
Based on primary research from both a child consumer and manufacturer perspective, this article explores the breakfast cereal market and the perceptions of packaging from the perspective of a child. Specific consideration is given to determining the overall role of packaging, what role packaging can play within integrated marketing communications and establishing the feasibility and effectiveness of packaging as a sole communications tool. Findings highlight some apparent inconsistencies between manufacturer and children’s views, and illustrate the possibility of adults underestimating how aware children are as consumers in today’s society.
Explores the relationship between mothers' purchase of perceived healthy foods, packaging characteristics, and the childrens “pester power” in obtaining attractive or appealing packaging. The results suggest mothers will not buy perceived healthy foods if the packaging is not acceptable. Discusses packaging and marketing strategies.
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Fun food is an overlooked, but increasingly significant, category of food targeted to children in the supermarket. These supermarket products emphasize foods’ play factor, interactivity, artificiality, and general distance from “regular” foods: food is positioned as “fun” and eating as “entertainment.” Using a series of focus groups, this study examined how children (segmented by age and gender) interpret these packaged appeals and how the thematic of fun connects with their understanding of health and nutrition. The study revealed that children are highly attuned to fun foods and its packaging, offering savvy, if flawed, interpretations of how to determine the healthfulness of a packaged good. I argue that the symbolic positioning of children’s food as fun and fake creates several roadblocks in the quest to promote wholesome food habits in children, and that the thematic of fun has unintended consequences that require careful consideration.