The influence of cold chain food packaging on consumers' purchasing decisions : an exploratory investigation
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Previous literature shows that packaging influences consumer's perceptions and purchase behaviour. The purpose of this study was to explore a group of South African consumers' perceptions of the cold chain packaging of food and the influence of these on their decision to purchase a product. In order to gain a better understanding of consumers' purchasing behaviour as influenced by packaging of cold chain food, a qualitative exploratory study was conducted. Twenty-five individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with consumers who do the shopping for themselves or their families. A projective technique was also used to question consumers. The first objective was to explore consumers' perceptions of the packaging of cold chain foods. It was found that the packaging of cold chain food influences consumers' perceptions and expectations of the product and that these perceptions influence consumers' purchasing decisions. Consumers have specific expectations regarding the packaging of cold chain food and these expectations have an important influence on consumers' perceptions of packaging. The second objective was to explore the influence that the packaging of cold chain foods has on the consumer's purchase decision. Some consumers are influenced by the packaging and packaging attributes of cold chain food while others are not influenced by the packaging when making purchasing decisions regarding cold chain food. The last mentioned group of consumers was influenced by non-packaging attributes such as price and brand loyalty or previous experience with a brand, indicating that product loyalty and experience play an important role in purchase decisions of cold chain food . This study can be used as a basis for a larger study to obtain more comprehensive results that can be generalized to a wider population. Manufacturers and product developers can use this information to address consumers' needs with regard to the development of food packagings. Furthermore, this study shows that consumers should be an important part of the process of developing and improving the packaging of cold chain food. Thus consumers' needs and expectations should be incorporated into these processes of packaging development. The value of this research lies in the fact that food packaging can be developed to suit consumers preferences and better fulfill their needs. As packaging contributes to the price of products and consumers therefore pay extra for it, the consumer will benefit from this research.
- Health Sciences