MeadWestvaco Corporation’s third annual study of the impact of packaging on product satisfaction and consumer purchasing behavior says packaging continues to hold significant importance for global consumer satisfaction with a strong link to purchase intent and brand loyalty.
The study, Packaging Matters™, looked at the attitudes of consumers in five markets (Brazil, China, Germany, France and the United States) across 11 FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) product categories (food, beverage, personal care, etc.). While a majority say new packaging is headed in the right direction, there are significant current gaps between the importance of product packaging and how brands are meeting consumer needs. Consumers are clear on how to close this gap: with targeted innovations related to functionality and safety.
Packaging Matters data show a strong correlation between packaging satisfaction and the consumer behaviors that brands want. Consumers who are completely satisfied with packaging engage in sought-after purchase behaviors more often. These consumers are more likely than their less satisfied peers to purchase and use products frequently (57 per cent versus 47 per cent), shop frequently both in-store and online (24 per cent versus 17 per cent), and try something new because of packaging (44 per cent versus 36 per cent).
The study also showed that 83 per cent of global consumers are at least moderately satisfied with packaging; but, just over 1 in 10 is completely satisfied, leaving an opportunity for brands. Compared to last year, satisfaction increased three per cent in the United States and dipped two per cent in China, where safety has been a major concern. When it comes to their future outlook for packaging, consumers are optimistic. More than 77 per cent believe brands are headed in the right direction when it comes to new trends in packaging.
Packaging is most important to key targets of major brands: frequent shoppers, urban shoppers with high spending power and brand loyal shoppers. Thirty-seven per cent of consumers have tried a product because packaging caught their eye or purchased a product again because of packaging functionality. Researchers found a significant increase in importance in the United States (18 per cent up to 24 per cent) and a slight rise in China (38 per cent up to 39 per cent).
In geographic distribution, packaging is most important to consumers in developing markets (China and Brazil), where trust in the supply chain is not as strong as in developed markets (France, Germany and the United States).
When it comes to retail channels, packaging is considered more important to in-store purchases (57 per cent) than online purchases (43 per cent), but that gap is closer than some might think. China was the only country in which a majority of consumers (65 per cent) say packaging is more important for online purchases. Those who say packaging is very or extremely important to their satisfaction are also more likely to increase the frequency they shop online in the future.