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Stephanie Love

Brand owners are eying ways to enhance consumers “on-the-go” lifestyles through new, innovative functional packaging solutions. This emerging “functional packaging” category, consisting of ease-of-use flexible pouches, stickpacks, and pressure sensitive reclosures, that aims at simplifing the consumers interaction with the package.

VIA Alliance Partner, Avery Dennison, recently conducted a series of focus groups to better understand the emotional response consumers have to purposeful packaging. Overall, the study found that consumers appreciate ease, convenience, integrity, and lifestyle-compatibility delivered by functional packaging.

“Answering consumers’ needs through functional packaging reinforces trust,” explains Haney Senior Structural Designer, Jillian Hartke. “A positive experience due to helpful features is a reflection on the product and can increase or solidify brand loyalty.”

Likewise, the study states that consumers “want to focus on things that truly matter — family, work, and other commitments — and not have to fuss with the items they buy regularly. And, they will pay a reasonable premium for what functional packaging offers. That represents opportunities for brand owners and the converters who work with them.”

The Avery Dennison Market Research Department found that “all-in-one” packaging options were most positively responded to. Consumers appreciated packaging that could be easily opened by hand and consisted of a simple to use enclosure feature such as pressure sensitive reclosures or snap close lids.

Haney Senior 3D Visualization Designer, Art Hung, explains that the opening experience is key to triggering an emotional response from the consumer. “By enhancing the opening experience functional packaging can truly engage with consumers. It can reveal many positive responses that influence the consumer at the point of purchase.”

In line with the positive reaction from consumers for “all-in-one” packaging solutions, Avery Dennison notes that, when it comes to packaging, convenience is key. “Almost all of our panelists spoke about very busy/hectic lifestyles. As such, they were interested in packaging solutions designed for on-the-go use, such as a resealable package of fruit that can be taken out of the fridge, tossed in a gym bag, and opened and closed repeatedly throughout the day (and without messily spilling its contents).”

In addition, to the simplicity of use associated with functional packaging, Avery Dennison’s study concluded that consumers place an emphasis on product freshness. Stating “packaging can convey freshness on the store shelf, when they get the product home, and for as long as possible in the fridge or pantry.”

Panelist specified that besides seeing an opening or reclosure feature to signify product freshness, there is also an audio component that must be taken into consideration. Packing seals that consist of an auditory sound, such as a whoosh of air, click – indicating a seal, or snapping, provide increased consumer confidence.

Overall, through Avery Dennison’s research, it was concluded that consumers appreciate the ease, convenience, integrity, and lifestyle-compatibility delivered by functional packaging. “Improving or simplifying consumers’ lives through functional packaging is the driving force behind a well thought out package and will only strengthen consumers’ views of the product,” says Hartke.

Time pressed like never before, a study by the American Psychological Association shows 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. Brands can benefit by doing their part to weave simplicity into consumer’s lives. Thus positively impacting individuals and driving the economy simultaneously.

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