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Impact of Packaging Characteristics on Consumer Purchase Intention: Instant Coffee in Refill Packs and Glass Jars

Kobayashi, Marcela Lika, Benassi, Marta de Toledo
Journal of sensory studies 2015 v.30 no.3 pp. 169-180
coffee beans, foams, food packaging, glass, income, instant coffee, jars, prices, sales, scientists
The study of food packaging is important as packaging represents the first contact between consumer and product. Attributes of interest in the study of instant coffee were initially determined by a focus group study. Subsequently, eight images of instant coffee packages were developed for the quantitative study, separately, for glass jars and refill packs (2⁴⁻¹ design, eight images, each). The package images were evaluated by a total of 206 coffee consumers for purchase intention. Two main groups of consumers were formed and characterized for each study in the conjoint analysis. For refill packs, purchase intention increased with the presence of photo depicting coffee cup with foam and coffee beans and additional information; for glass jars, lower price and shape. Brand was not emphasized as impacting in purchase intent of instant coffees, a positive finding for manufacturers of lesser known brands: improving packaging attributes may encourage product sales. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: These results are relevant to sensory scientists and instant coffee manufacturers interested in how packaging characteristics can impact on the purchase intention by consumers. Although coffee represents a significant source of income worldwide, there is less information in the literature about the effect of nonsensory parameters, such as packaging characteristics, in consumers' acceptance and purchase of instant coffee. The study showed that brand was less important than price and packaging attributes, such as additional information, adequate illustration (for refill packs) and package shape (for glass jars). Therefore, these results should hopefully help coffee manufacturers develop their packages and improve their sales, mainly those of lesser known brands, new brands or brands less associated with instant coffee.