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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Why don't suppliers care about "packaging rage"? New research reveals the enormity of the problem

Over 50% of grandmothers suffer frustrations with packaging on a weekly basis.

Recently I worked with Grannynet, the social networking site for grandmothers, to explore the issue of product packaging.

We found that a staggering 80% of those surveyed have had issues with packaging in the last month alone, with 51% being in just the last week.

The worst offenders lay in the toy sector with 58% of those surveyed finding issues with packaging of toys; “you need a degree to get into some packages and some of the left over bits are choke hazards” said one angry grandmother.

After toys, other sectors criticised were electricals (38%), food & drink (35%) and beauty (33%).

Companies selling to this market should take note as 78% of respondents thought brands do not consider a customer’s needs enough when designing packaging. It would seem that it’s worth getting this right as 63% of older, female consumers would prefer to buy from a company that prioritises good packaging in its retail strategy.

The biggest frustrations with packaging were cited as extra fastenings such as ties and pins (59%), sealed plastic packaging (58%) and when too much packaging is used in general (54%). Almost a quarter of respondents even said packaging has caused them injury.

Specific brands that have let them down are Tesco, Colgate, Fisher Price, Tomy, Asda, Mattel, VTech and Gilette.  One respondent commented on Tesco own brand rice, where she “couldn't do it the traditional way and had to get the scissors out, eventually ending up with half on the floor.”

So who are the good guys?

Celebrated for their impressive packaging were Lush, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and M&S.

Those surveyed also showed a real appreciation of eco-friendly packaging.

The respondents were divided in their views about Amazon.  The online retail giant had its critics but twice as many praised as condemned their product packaging. Amazon was the only company cited as asking customers to feedback their views about its packaging. Clearly the company is aware there may be a problem.

Grannynet’s Director Verity Gill comments “We had a strong hunch that the packaging provided by companies here in the UK was falling way short of the mark, but we didn’t realise how much of a problem it is for older people, particularly with toys.

Most times we conduct a AF Audit we find exactly the same problem. All of the effort goes into the product and its promotion and packaging is gets the least priority. When are companies going to wake up to the scale of the problem and the magnitude of the opportunity. Dick Stroud

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