Consumer purchasing behaviours reflect buying confectionery is a quick decision. What packaging it comes in plays an important part.
Besides offering protection, providing a long shelf life and ensuring hygiene, packaging also plays an important part in what kind of message it conveys to the end consumer. Research has shown purchases of confectionery products are done in seconds; so a company has very limited time to grab their attention: this is where packaging can help. HFSS legislation in the UK has moved confectionery products away from key purchasing spots in stores, making it all the more important to grab attention. Whether this is flow wrapped or cartoning packaging, the machinery used can achieve this.
Confectionery packaging has been long associated with bright, vivid colours, which consumers have come to expect from the sector. As the market becomes more and more populated – product news reflects continuous launches and new lines – it’s become more and more crucial to ensure standing out against competitors. Research into what sways consumers’ purchasing decisions has shown that consumers don’t spend much time picking which products to buy, which is where bold and eye-catching packaging can play a part, in ensuring the product is purchased for the first time and as a repeat purchase. According to a survey conducted by FMCG in 2020, as a consequence of the pandemic, 60% of respondents said they sought out confectionery products they know and trust in a return to nostalgia. Another study showed that if a consumer is unfamiliar with the products on display, they will default to the product with the most attractive packaging. Successfully influencing consumer purchasing behaviour so a consumer purchases the first time and continues to do so, can happen through packaging.
In light of HFSS (high, fat, sugar and salt) legislation in the UK which passed just this month, brands are being forced to do more to attract attention, where previously being at the front of the store encouraged split decision purchases. In a move to tackle rising obesity rates in the UK, the legislation restricts where products that fall into this category can be placed in supermarkets. Applicable to confectionery, this also includes soft drinks, savoury snacks and pizza.
Products can no longer be placed in areas identified as ‘impulse’ areas, such as right by the checkouts. Where confectionery is sometimes put in pallet and floor displays at the front, the products will need to be moved nearer to the back of the store, where space is more limited. As Alessandro Roca from CAMA Group explained well, space requirements in retail for confectionery (and food more generally) are strict, meaning what the confectionery is packaged in needs to be considerate of this. Manufacturers may have to take into account shelf packaging, which often utilises integrated push-feed systems, where taking one product will bring the remainder to the front of the box to fill the space. For the stores that the legislation applies to, how companies selling their products in these stores package and brand them will need to give it some serious thought to accommodate for these changes…
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Editor, International Confectionery
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