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Pack designs alter due to changing shopping behaviours

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Packagingnews.co.uk - Oct 11th 2011, 09:45

Brands (in the UK) are altering their pack designs to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour due to continued economic uncertainty, according to an industry expert. 

Speaking to PN at the easyFairs Packaging Innovations show, Blue Marlin director of insights and planning Barbra Wright said that more brands are coming to “us to see what they can do to make sure they can maintain their presence”.

Toilet paper struggle

She said that some brands are aware that “they might struggle”, so they are making sure that their products “stand out on shelf” through changes, for example, in structural design, shape or graphics.

Wright said the toilet paper market faced big challenges in trying to make their brands appeal more to the consumer.

She explained: “This is probably a category where if people are tight for money they will probably down trade to the bottom tier. If you are a brand like Andrex how do you hook people with your brand image to make them keep buying your product?”

She said that own-label brands “are starting to act more like” high value brands and changing their packs to reflect that.

Appealing to a different consumer market

Wright also said that some brands are thinking about repositioning their products to appeal to a different consumer market. She added: “We are working on a drinks brand at the moment that is a very successful brand but it is aware that it is quite polarised.

“So, they are looking at how they can extend their range and position a new part of their range to a different audience so they can broaden their footprint.”

Wright explained that quite a lot of brands are thinking about where they sit within tiering, related to pricing (cheap, middle or expensive).

She said: “Brands who are quite middle tier might look at bringing in something that is ‘better tier’ that feels premium and costs a bit more. This is because consumers are not spending a lot of money on treats, like holidays, but they are spending a little money on treats such as confectionery, pizzas to eat at home or cosmetics”.

Wright said, as a result of this, more designers are designing packs that are “accessible and really beautiful”. For example, the pack designs of Dorset Cereals, Ella’s Kitchen and Green & Blacks “are beautiful yet accessible”, she said.

She added: “It is about rewarding the consumer more through design.”

‘My economy’

Blue Marlin has recently unveiled a report on changing consumer shopping behaviour. It is called My economy.

Researchers found that four strong characters emerged from its study – archetypes that today’s shoppers inhabit. These characters include pragmatists, strugglers, protectors and opportunists.

The research found that pragmatists were “shifting from one main place to shop, to shopping more regularly and at a range of different supermarkets”. On the other hand, according to the research, strugglers are “hanging on to as much as possible from pre-recession”.

Comments from strugglers include the following: “I’ll scrimp on some things so that I can get things that really make me feel good, like a bottle of Chanel perfume that lasts for ages – the kick it gives me makes me feel good and I need a bit of feeling food.” 

Read more about: packaging | international news | | analysis

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