Mark Whalley, lead consultant at Canadean Consumer, told FoodProductionDaily.com that damaged packaging across food, beverages and personal care products cost millions of pounds annually in lost revenues.
That was as a result of sales that were either lost or made at a discount, said Whalley. Some consumers actively sought out products with damaged packaging in order to get a 10-20% saving, he added.
“This emphasises the necessity of investing in packaging and focusing on how efficient it is in design and transit. I don’t think manufacturers can afford to cut back on this area at a time when they will be looking for things to cut back on.”
Sturdy and robust
“It’s important to invest in packaging that’s sturdy and robust and transports easily. If even a corner of a box of cereal is pushed in [for example], people won’t buy that cereal.”
Out of 2,000 consumers surveyed, the most dramatic findings were for the drinks industry, where tamper-proof packaging is a much bigger issue.
Just 7% of survey respondents said they would buy a drink for full price regardless of any damage to the packaging, and only 44% would do so if they got a discount.
Only 8% of respondents said they would pay a normal price for a food product with damaged packaging, with a further 55% saying they would still purchase it but expect to pay a discount.
Women fussier than men
Women revealed themselves to be fussier than men, with only 6% prepared to pay full price, versus 9% of men.
More than a third of all consumers said they would never buy a food, drink or health & beauty product with compromised packaging.
Reaction to the damage was only related to food safety issues in instances where that was likely to be a concern – such as fresh or chilled products, said Whalley.
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