MWV Study: Fewer Than 20 Percent of U.S. Consumers Very Satisfied with Packaging

Wed Feb 6, 2013 9:00am EST

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"Packaging Matters" identifies structural features as biggest opportunity for
brands to delight consumers through packaging
RICHMOND, Va.--(Business Wire)--
MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV), a global leader in packaging and packaging
solutionslaunched its inaugural consumer satisfaction study, "Packaging
Matters." The study explores the role of packaging in product satisfaction as
consumers purchase, transport, use and dispose of products across 10 different
categories. The results suggest that packaging satisfaction can have a
significant impact on purchase intent and repeat purchase, and that there is a
low level of satisfaction overall, especially once consumers leave the store and
rely on the structural or functional features of the package at home or
on-the-go. 

The study clearly shows that when it comes to purchase intent and product
satisfaction, packaging does matter. A majority of consumers will sometimes buy
a product off the shelf without prior knowledge of it (64 percent) and rarely
use mobile devices to research a product while shopping (72 percent). While
quality (85 percent) and price (67 percent) are the most important factors
contributing to overall product satisfaction, consumers report little variance
in importance between a product`s brand (12 percent) and packaging (10 percent).


Despite the importance of packaging, there is a clear opportunity for
improvement: Fewer than 20 percent of U.S. consumers report they are "very
satisfied" with product packaging, with the least amount of satisfaction from
carry-out food containers and beauty care product packaging. 

"The research further proves that packaging is one of the most powerful tools in
the marketing communications mix, but as it stands now, packaging does not
delight consumers," said Brian Richard, director, Consumer & Customer Insights,
MWV. "Brands should view the current gap in satisfaction as an opportunity to
make improvements to their packaging by focusing on what matters most to
consumers." 

Packaging satisfaction ends on the shelf

The study identified "satisfaction gaps:" the importance of different packaging
attributes compared to their perceived performance. Of the 15 packaging
attributes studied, only a small percentage of consumers ranked shelf appeal, or
the product`s "attractiveness" and "distinctiveness," as "very important"
features to their satisfaction (6 percent and 10 percent, respectively).
However, this is where brands were performing best, with performance exceeding
importance. While brands are generally pleasing consumers during the shopping
experience, satisfaction drops dramatically when product packaging is relied
upon for transport and storage and then when the product is used and reused. 

The largest satisfaction gaps across categories all relate to the structural
features or functionality of the packaging. In terms of importance, consumers
want packaging that protects from breaking or spilling (74 percent), maintains
product integrity (72 percent) and gets the entire product out of the package
(66 percent). 

"Packaging satisfaction decreases significantly after consumers leave the store,
at all touch points along the product lifecycle, such as transporting, storing
and using the product. This is a huge missed opportunity for brands," said Steve
Kazanjian, vice president, Global Creative, MWV. "Structural features of the
packaging should be viewed as the most critical area for brands to make
improvements to drive consumer satisfaction." 

"Packaging that lives up to the brand promise of its marketing communications
holds the most potential for repeat purchase," Kazanjian added. "As more retail
migrates online, consumers are interacting less with brick-and-mortar channels.
A disappointed consumer can switch brands with one click, so the role of
packaging is increasingly an important vehicle for brand owners to connect with
their consumers at touch points throughout the product`s lifecycle." 

Packaging satisfaction varies across demographics

Results of "Packaging Matters" reveal a significant variance across a variety of
demographics and categories. For example:

* Consumers ages 18-24 are most satisfied with packaging (22 percent) 
* Middle-class consumers are the least satisfied with packaging (17 percent) 
* Consumers are most satisfied with carbonated soft drink packaging (24 percent)
and least satisfied with carry-out packaging (11 percent)

"Packaging Matters: Packaging Satisfaction Study" was commissioned by MWV and
studied the shopping habits and consumers satisfaction with packaging from store
shelf to transport, storage, use and disposal of 3,000 U.S. consumers. For full
study results, visit mwv.com/packagingmatters. 

For more information on MWV`s packaging solutions, please visit
http://www.mwv.com/Packaging/index.htm. 

About MWV

MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) is a global packaging company providing
innovative solutions to the world`s most admired brands in the healthcare,
beauty and personal care, food , beverage, home and garden, tobacco, and
agricultural industries. The company also produces specialty chemicals for the
automotive, energy, and infrastructure industries and maximizes the value of its
land holdings through forestry operations, property development and land sales.
MWV`s network of 125 facilities and 16,000 employees spans North America, South
America, Europe and Asia. The company has been recognized for financial
performance and environmental stewardship with a place on the Dow Jones
Sustainability World Index every year since 2005. Learn more at www.mwv.com.

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MeadWestvaco Corporation
Media
Tucker McNeil, +1 804-444-6397
mediainquiries@mwv.com
or
Investor Relations
Jason Thompson, +1 804-444-2556 

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