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Tasteful Packaging:
How health and ethical messaging can affect the consumer experience

corresponding

MICHELLE M NIEDZIELA*, AMANDA JORDAN, HANNAH STONE
*Corresponding author
HCD Research, 260 Us 202/31 North, Liberty Court Suite 1000, Flemington, NJ 08822, United States

Abstract

Ethical buzz words like “organic”, “sustainable”, and “non-GMO” have become increasingly popular for consumer products. Consumer demand for such products is rising rapidly. Health and environmentally conscious consumers are driving sales of products yet it is unknown how much of an impact such claims have on consumer perception. Using a combination of psycho-physiological measures, traditional quantitative questionnaires and conjoint analysis, we aimed to understand the consumer’s experience when exposed to these claims. QUANTITATIVE: Subjects (n=302) were exposed to 12 images of yogurt packaging with varying claims combinations including control (plain package), environmental (“organic”, “sustainable”, “non-GMO”) and dietary (“low fat”, “low calorie”) and were then given a questionnaire to assess perceived taste, brand perception, and cost perception of the stimuli as well as general health and environmental implications on grocery purchases. PSYCHO-PHYSIOLOGICAL: Subjects ( n=18) were exposed to 12 images of yogurt packaging with varying claims combinations including a control (plain package), environmental (“organic”, “sustainable”, “non-GMO”) and dietary (“low fat”, “low calorie”) for 8 seconds each while being measured for HR, GSR, and fEMG. Visual attention was also measured using eye tracking. Subjects were then asked to answer a questionnaire. RESULTS/CONCLUSION: Psycho-physiological data showed that claims helped sustain arousal and engagement with products, but can also have a negative effect on pleasantness and cognitive attention. Environmental and health claims also had an effect on perceived taste and amount consumers were willing to pay for the product with significant differences between males and females and among different age groups. The results of this study provide much needed insight into the importance of consumer package communications for health and environmental issues.


INTRODUCTION
Ethical buzz words like “organic”, “sustainable”, and “non-GMO” have become increasingly popular for consumer products. Consumer demand for such products is rising rapidly. Health and environmentally conscious consumers are driving sales of products yet it is unknown how much of an impact such claims have on consumer perception. Using a combination of psycho-physiological measures, traditional quantitative questionnaires and conjoint analysis, we aimed to understand the consumer’s experience when exposed to these claims.

Applied consumer neuroscience is a combination of neuroscientific, psychological and traditional market research methodologies to better understand consumer behavior and non-conscious interactions with consumer products. The high failure rate of new market introductions, despite initial successful testing with traditional sensory and consumer tests as often seen in product development, begs the development of new approaches and methodologies for more accurate and insightful consumer understanding. One of the reasons of the success of adding neuro- and psychological methods is that traditional consume ...




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