The difficulties in opening different types of packs are of far greater concern to most consumers than environmental criticisms such as perceived over-packaging.
This is one of the findings of a major quantitative research study1 carried out on behalf of packaging specialist Payne to identify and understand consumers’ concerns with packaging. Significantly, 85% of those who took part in the study said they had experienced some frustration with packs. The research identifies the 10 types of packaging most likely to cause frustration, and also examines attitudes among different age groups.
The full results will be revealed at the EU Packaging Summit which is being held in Berlin in January, where Payne’s managing director Martin Dallas will also unveil its new market positioning, Packaging Resolved, which focuses on the company’s ability to provide solutions in four key areas that deliver effective packaging – opening, closing, informing and protecting.
“It is very clear from this research that functionality is a major part of what consumers consider to be good packaging,” says Martin Dallas.
“A particularly important aspect of our research was that the initial responses were unprompted so these really do get to the heart of what frustrates and annoys people.
“For example, concerns about over-packaging only became more prevalent when consumers were prompted on the subject, whereas difficulties in opening a pack or having to use scissors or other sharp instruments to gain entry were very much front of mind all the time.”
Payne says its Packaging Resolved approach will not only enable brand owners to satisfy the need for functionality but also deliver additional benefits that will help to strengthen a brand’s relationship with its consumers.
“Consumers are seeking functionality in their packs but brand owners need multi-functionality where elements of the pack are able to carry out more than one role,” explains Dallas. “For example, a tear tape or label for easy-opening can also provide a means of communication between a brand and its consumers; a resealable pack can combine user-convenience with product protection, portion control and the minimisation of food waste.
“Such additional benefits can help to reinforce positive perceptions about a product and support brand image and positioning.”
Payne believes that understanding consumer attitudes and priorities is fundamental in enabling packaging manufacturers to work successfully with brand owners in the development of effective pack solutions. The company is shortly to launch its own Packaging Resolved Facebook page, which will encourage consumers to provide feedback on their favourite and least favourite pack types.
“Packaging is the key medium by which to communicate the brand and our research shows that consumers respond positively to packs that are fit for purpose,” concludes Dallas. “When packaging works, it makes people feel good about the product; conversely, a poor pack can have a deeply negative effect on their perception of the brand.
“Packaging solutions that focus on opening, closing, informing and protecting can resolve many of the typical consumer pack frustrations and at the same time deliver added value and enhance brand image, to the extent of becoming an integral part of the brand experience.”
1 The Payne research was carried out by JRA Research, who interviewed more than 500 people across the UK. The survey consisted of 523 online interviews conducted w/c 29 October 2012, each taking 5-10 minutes and covering a representative sample of the population, divided across five age groups. There was a 50:50 split of male and female respondents.