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Damaged packaging is massive consumer turn-off

By Rod Addy , 27-Nov-2012
Last updated on 27-Nov-2012 at 14:28 GMT

Damaged packaging hugely deters consumers from buying products at full price and often puts them off purchasing them at all, according to fresh UK research from Canadean.

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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