I always thought I knew it but now I can relax and enjoy the confirming results from a study made by the University of Calgary. The study concludes that children prefer the taste of foods in pretty and decorative packaging and also that packaging design play an even stronger role than product branding.
The study was about examining the effects of branding and packaging on young children’s taste preferences. Young children got to taste identical foods in either branded packaging (strong brands like McDonald’s and Starbucks), in plain or in colourful but unbranded packaging. The kids were then asked if the foods tasted the same or if one tasted better.
The results are clear, children preferred the taste of foods wrapped in colourful and decorative wrappings, relying more on design than on familiar branding when making their choices. The findings challenge established commercial advertising and brand promotion on television and other media platforms.
The study concludes that “More attention should be directed at the important role of packaging in directing children’s food preferences.” But I would like to extend the findings to include us all. We do rely on all our senses when we make that choice in the supermarket aisles. We make our decision and a pretty and alluring pack design will support it.
It is time to make room for the packaging dimension of the product proposition in the brand owner’s mind sets and budgets to survive and grow their market shares.
Of course packaging functionality and quality of product etc. are important but that is for next step, repeat purchase.