Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Packaging Science

Advisor

Hurley, Rupert A

Committee Member

Tonkin , Charles E

Committee Member

Cooksey , Kay D

Abstract

Packaging plays a key role in communicating product benefits to consumers at the point of sale (Rundh, 2009). Oftentimes, designers use high visibility enhancements to help the package stand out among competitors. Although luxury products often use high-end graphic techniques to convey high quality product, many private label package designers are also using these enhancements to attract attention to their products. Foil stamping is a high visibility enhancement that can create a rich and elegant effect on a package. The process involves transferring a thin layer of foil onto a substrate by using pressure and heat. No quantitative research has been conducted to test the effects foil stamping has on consumer attention and purchase preferences. This research sought to understand how adding foil stamping to a fast moving consumer good package will affect consumer attention and purchase preference. Through the collection of both quantitative data, consumer attention and purchase preference were evaluated. Three different products were selected for evaluation for the study: popcorn, cereal (2 varieties), and boxed pasta dinners. A total of 172 participants completed the study, which took place in a realistic, immersive shopping environment. Two eye tracking metrics, time to first fixation and total fixation duration, were collected using mobile eye tracking technology. It was hypothesized that participants will have a shorter time to first fixation when foil stamping is present and a longer total fixation duration when foil stamping is present. Purchase decision was also analyzed. It was hypothesized that participants will select an item more often for purchase when foil stamping is present. A qualitative survey was completed by participants, which recorded basic demographic information. Significance tests were performed to test for statistical differences in consumer attention behavior as well as purchase decision between the foil and control packages. Overall, it was determined that consumer attention behavior varied among all three product categories. For some of the test samples, the addition of foil stamping positively affected consumer attention behavior and purchase decision. I other cases, the addition of foil stamping had no effect on consumer attention behavior and purchase decision, and for a few of the test samples, the addition of foil stamping negatively impacted consumer attention behavior. In addition to these findings, it is suggested that researchers who want to test how foil stamping will affect other product categories, should use the methodology presented in this research.

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