Product Packaging Loses Its Luster Once Off The Shelf, Say Consumers

February 12, 2013

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Brand Metrics | CPG & FMCG

MWV-Product-Packaging-Satisfaction-Index-Feb2013When it comes to overall product satisfaction, packaging matters to almost as many consumers as the brand itself, according to a new study from MeadWestvaco. But brands are failing to satisfy consumers in this regard, with less than 1 in 5 being highly satisfied with product packaging in general. While the initial shelf appeal of packaging satisfies most, it’s not as important to them as other attributes such as use, storage, and disposal. And in those areas, consumers satisfaction drops significantly.

Creating a packaging satisfaction index, the MWV study shows that there is an increasing gap between the importance placed on a packaging attribute and the satisfaction consumers have with it after the store experience. For example, packaging on the shelf has a much higher index score (65) than storage (41) or usage (38), meaning that the latter have lower satisfaction rates relative to their importance.

So what are consumers looking for out of their packaging if it’s not shelf appeal? The study shows that consumers most want packaging that protects from breaking or spilling (74%), maintains product integrity (72%), and gets the entire product out of the package (66%). As Steve Kazanjian, vice president of Global Creative at MWV notes: “Structural features of the packaging should be viewed as the most critical area for brands to make improvements to drive consumer satisfaction.”

Other Findings:

  • Consumer satisfaction with packaging is low across all product categories, ranging from 24% satisfaction with soft drinks on the high end, to 11% satisfaction with carry-out containers on the low end.
  • Despite being the most satisfied age bracket with packaging, only 22% of 18-24-year-olds are very satisfied.
  • Middle-class consumers are the least satisfied with packaging – just 17% are very satisfied.
  • Shelf appeal does have some importance, considering that 64% of respondents will buy a product off the shelf without prior knowledge of it.

About the Data: “Packaging Matters: Packaging Satisfaction Study” was commissioned by MWV and studied the shopping habits and consumers satisfaction with packaging from store shelf to transport, storage, use and disposal of 3,000 U.S. consumers.

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