Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Packaging Science

Advisor

Hurley, Rupert A

Committee Member

Tonkin, Charles

Committee Member

Duchowski, Andrew

Abstract

ABSTRACT
Previous research conducted (Hurley, et al., 2012) concerning physical and graphical product visibility from the primary display panel (PDP) is limited to one product category. This research expands previous peer-reviewed research, which indicates that there is a significant difference between consumer preferences of graphical display vs. physical product display on packaging.
The shelf presence of packages showing actual product visibility versus packages showing only a graphical representation of the product was evaluated. Both shopping results and quantitative data using eye-tracking technology were collected and cross-referenced with a qualitative, post-experiment survey.
Specifically, variables of packaging within pasta, snacks, prepared frozen meals and refrigerated meats were analyzed in this research. The experimental design took the form of a 4 (products) x 4 (package styles) study. A total of 130 participants contributed to the study by shopping in a staged retail environment and then filling out a survey. There were three main goals for this study: determine if participants were more visually attentive to graphical representations of products or actual products being shown, determine if participants were more/less visually attentive to packages showing a higher/lower percentage of actual products, and lastly determine which packaging styles consumers preferred given the opportunity to choose between the styles.
Analysis of participant shopping selections revealed that packages displaying actual product through windows were selected significantly more than packages displaying only a graphical representation of the product. No significant purchase differences were seen between higher/lower percentages of actual products being displayed. Eye-tracking data analysis generally showed no significant differences for window type or presence.

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