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Healthy package, healthy product? Effects of packaging design as a function of purchase setting

van Rompay, Thomas J.L., Deterink, Florien, Fenko, Anna
Food quality and preference 2016 v.53 pp. 84-89
data collection, food analysis, packaging, prices, supermarkets, taste, yogurt
Inspired by research testifying to the influence of visual packaging appearance and meaning portrayal on food evaluation, here it is argued that effects of packaging design vary depending on purchase context. Realistic packaging variants for a fictitious yoghurt brand varying in health connotation were designed. Data were collected during two field studies in the entrance halls of a discount supermarket visited by price sensitive buyers and a green supermarket frequented by organic buyers respectively. Results from a taste session in which shoppers tasted an identical yoghurt variant from either one of the two package variants revealed that packaging design influenced taste evaluation in the discount supermarket only, with a more healthy packaging appearance positively affecting perceptions of food healthiness. A follow-up study further stressed the importance of considering store environment and related shopper concerns in (packaging) design practice.