ABSTRACT: The research examined the influence of product packaging on consumer patronage of products. The Theory that led support for this study was Individual Difference Theory. A survey research method was used and a questionnaire was used to elicit responses from respondents who were consumers in Asaba metropolis. The frequency and percentage method was adopted to analyze the data collected for this study. Findings revealed that packaging adds value to products and enable Indomie to maintain the brand colour and appearance, similarly, respondents retained and remembered Indomie noodle product easily through its product packaging. It was recommended that manufacturers should use relevant colour and typography in a simple but detailed manner to depict what the contents is all about while suitable container should be adopted as well.
1.1 Background to the study
Do you still remember the popular cliché that “don’t judge a book with its cover”, it literarily mean you shouldn’t buy a product without first checking the quality of its content. Meaning that a product with good packaging will first attract and lure you to buying before remember to check the contents. This is a simple analogy to explain the critical position of packaging. Do you also recall the assertion that the first impression last longer.
However, first impressions are very important, and your packaging is often a consumer’s first introduction to the product. As such, product packaging is a factor that manufacturers should never toy with. The importance of product packaging is multi-faceted and can go a long way in securing a good first impression and lasting brand loyalty (Jane, 2019).
Packaging is a very important marketing strategy to glamorize product in order to attract the consumer’s attention. Sometimes packaging is so important that it cost more than the product itself in order to lure the consumers to buy it (Sajuyigbe A.S, et. al. (2013). Product packaging is the act of protecting product during movement through distribution channels and provides an attractive method to convey messages about product attributes to consumers at the point of sale (Olayinka, 2012).
Pinya and Mark (2001). Pointed out that packaging is mainly to protect the product during movement through distribution channels. In the marketing function, packaging means to provide an attractive method to convey messages about product attributes to consumers at the point of sale. It may be difficult to separate these two package functions, as they are usually needed. The package sells the product by attracting attention and communicating, and also allows the product to be contained, apportioned, unitized, and protected.
According to Entrepreneur Media (2014), packaging is the wrapping material around a consumer item that serves to contain, identify, describe, protect, display, promote and otherwise make the product marketable and keep it clean.
Packaging was once the stepchild of marketing, simply thought of as the container for the product, a cost to be minimized as much as possible. These days, marketers recognize the value of packaging, understanding the vital role it can play in generating sales by connecting with shoppers at the point-of-purchase. And the expense incurred in developing an effective package is seen as a worthwhile investment that provides a huge return. But with this higher proﬁle comes greater scrutiny and higher expectations (Jonathan, 2010).
There is a need to establish criteria for effectiveness, and create metrics to determine if those criteria have been met. The fundamental criteria for effective packaging are highlighted below as put by (Jonathan, 2010): To be seen on shelf, To engage shoppers, To communicate key messages/point-of-difference and To close the sale.
In addition, the most effective packaging also provides functional beneﬁts such as handling, storage, opening/re-closing, dispensing/usage and disposal/sustainability. Some of the importance of product packaging is explain below by (Kristie, 2013).
The main purpose of product packaging is to protect the product from damage. Product packaging not only protects the product during transit from the manufacturer to the retailer, but it also prevents damage while the product sits on retail shelves (Jane, 2019). Most products have some form of packaging. For example, soups must have a container and package while apples may have packaging for transport but not to sell the product from the produce department of the local grocery store, just like noodles.
How a product is packaged may be what attracts the consumer to take a look on the product as is sits on store shelves. For this reason, many companies conduct extensive research on color schemes, designs and types of product packaging that is the most appealing to its intended consumer (Jane, 2019).
Packaging also plays an important role for portraying information about the product. Outside packaging may contain directions on how to use the product or make the product. Packaging may also contain ingredients and nutritional information about the product. This information can help to sell the product because it allows potential customers to obtain the necessary information they need to make a purchase decision. Information contained on a package may propel the reader to buy the product without ever having to speak to a store clerk (Thea, 2022 ).
Also, packaging can also differentiate one brand of product from another brand. Because the product packaging can contain company names, logos and the color scheme of the company, it helps consumers to identify the product as it sits among the competition’s products on store shelves. For example, as a shopper walks through the coffee aisle of the local grocery store, the bright orange, pink and white packaging also, the good red and text of Indomie noodle make it easily differentiate it from otherbrand. It is against this background that the research investigated the influence of product packaging on consumers purchase of products.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Product packaging involves a huge amount of money in ensuring that achieving effective packaging will be publicly accepted. Consumers might prefer one packaging to another and if a product or company changes its product’s packaging, consumers may also change their attitude, while many consumers may not able to recognize it again.
However, despite the importance of product packaging to the overall marketing of a brand, unfortunately little or no research has being conducted on its importance especially in Nigeria unlike advertising.
It is against this backdrop that the research investigated the influence of packaging on consumers’ purchase of products with a particular focus on Indomie noodles. Some manufacturers may considered that spending money on packaging is a waste of money to brand owners/manufacturers, this study aiming to find out the influence of packaging on consumers buying habit of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine the influence of packaging on consumers’ purchase of products. The specific objectives of this study are:
- To ascertain the effect of product packaging on consumers purchasing habit.
- To determine the extent at which product packaging influence consumers’ preference for noodles.
1.4 Research Questions
The study formulated the following research questions.
- To what extent does product packaging affect consumers’ purchasing habit?
- To what extent does product packaging influence consumers’ preference for noodles?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research has the potential to benefit large number of individuals, companies, administrator, marketing manager and future researchers in knowing what customers/consumer want and why they like it.
Marketing manager and those in the affair of product planning and design will also find this study useful has it will offer them lots of new clue into product packaging. While it will enhance their ability to devote more time to test the public acceptance of their product packaging and make amendment where necessary before putting the design into use.
Similarly, some companies will through this research know why their sale volume is falling despite their long existence in the market and while consumers are going for rival products.
Another notable significance of this study, is its ability to bring to the spot light the nature and type of product packing and graphic elements that is suitable for a particular product and factors to be considered in selecting packaging for a product because graphic illustration is part of the products packaging.
The work will also form part of the academic work while the future researchers will find it useful when carry out research on subject matter that is relating to this research.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study which investigated the influence of packaging on consumers’ purchase of products with a focus on Indomie Noodles was narrowed in scope to the consumers in Asaba, Delta state due to the time factor, lack of enough literature on the work, inability of the research to cover all consumers in Nigeria.
However, the demographic factors of the respondents within Asaba, Delta state were considered before the structuring and administration of the research instrument (questionnaire) such demographic include but not limited to age, sex, marital status, educational background, religion and many more.
1.7 Operational Definition of the Terms
Influence: It refers to the effect which packaging has on noodles consumers.
Packaging: Packaging is a process of protect the product during movement through distribution channels and provides an attractive method to convey messages about product attributes to consumers at the point of sale.
Consumers: This refers to the people that buy Indomie noodles.
Patronage: It refers to the ability and intention that consumers have towards buying particular noodle.