Preliminary data gathering

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Introduction To The Report:

During the last two decades many important developments in the position of food in daily life of consumers and producers takes place. In earlier times consumers were self sufficient, but during the last two decades things have been changed and there was a rapid development in the industrialization of food packaging communication process. So this research study focuses on the area of Packaging which is one of the most important elements of marketing mix and many marketers had considered packaging as a fifth ‘P' , while the other four P's are Product, Placement, Promotional and Price. So packaging is used as an important marketing tool. In marketing terms, Packaging can be defined as: “All the activities of designing and producing the container or wrapper of a product, Packaging is a structure designed to contain a commercial food product, i.e. to make it easier and safer to transport, to protect the product against contamination or loss, degradation or damage and to produce a convenient way to dispense the product”.

Packaging mainly can be divided into three main types, i.e. Consumer Packaging, Transport packaging and Food Packaging. This study is specified only to food packaging as food packaging industry requires packaging material that provides efficient barriers, preserves product effectively and therefore increases the shelf life of the product 1. However packaging is criticized largely from the environmental point of view, because many researchers think that packaging is depleting natural resources, as certain form of packages are health hazards, and there is a significant problem of disposing of these packages. Marketing researchers have to deal with these criticisms, and must enhance the positive features of packaging, like product protection, preservation, containment, communication, consumer convenience and marketing support 2.

In context of above description, this study is basically consists of observations, surveys and interview from the consumers in order to determine how packaging contain, preserve, and communicate the buyer, the importance of packaging on their buying decision process, how they get influence, and how a good quality and attractive packaging convince them to buy particular FMCG food products.

Background Of The Study:

The professional fields are becoming more and more challenging and competitive in the present arena. So, in order to endure and be successful in any field, you must have the deep knowledge and appropriate skills of the concerned field. In fact this is true about the fields of management sciences, in which the Knowledge and skills of a person can be polished, if he goes through some practical experiences. Therefore this study is mainly conducted to have the knowledge of practical business situations, because the theoretical knowledge might not always match with the practical situations, where we do businesses. Therefore this would be the socialization to the market in a sense of applying our theoretical knowledge in the practical fields.

In this regard, I have selected the area of Packaging for my research study which carries a great concern in the present arena because in the last one and half decade the importance of packaging has been actualized immensely and by having packaging knowledge and designing skills, practically you can enhance your capabilities. Packaging has covered all the consumer tangible goods in order to create and enhance the marketing efforts.

According to “International Association of Packaging Research Institutes” IAPRI, the packaging technology has gone through a significant and fast exploitation in recent years, and globally the packaging material and machinery industry is estimated to be worth of $ 500 billion per year representing almost 1-2 % of the GDP industrialized country, and over 100, 00 packaging manufacturing companies have employed approx 5 million people to serve all packaging business manufacturers company 3.

Introduction To The Topic:

The topic for my research is “A Hypothetical Study on the Impact & influence of FMCG food Packaging on Consumer Buying Behavior” in which we will try to explore the variables of packaging which attracts consumer behavior and influence them to buy.

Importance Of Packaging:

Many researchers together with Price, Promotion, Placement and Product considers Packaging as a fifth “P” as a marketing tools, because they think that packaging is a face of a product which actually refers to the material that servers to contain, identify, describe, protect, display and promote a specific product. The main objectives of packaging are to keep the food in good condition until it is sold or have been consumed and to encourage the consumer to buy it again and again. Correct packaging is essential to achieve above given objectives. Yearly billion of pounds are spent on packaging food.

Functions Of Packaging:

There are many protecting functions and purposes of packaging that influence consumers to buy a particular product. The various functions of packaging can be divided into three main types: Primary, secondary and tertiary (additional Functions). Primary functions concerned with the technical nature of the product while the secondary and tertiary functions are related to communications.

The Primary Functions of packaging are to protect and storage of a product from loss, damage or any kind of deterioration from environmental conditions such as humidity, temperature, precipitation and solar radiation. i.e.; the durability of a package, because people wants material that will really protect the product they bought and something that can resist handling and shipping.

The Secondary and Tertiary Functions of packaging are the sales, promotional, service and guarantee functions. The main intentions of sales function of package is to promote the sales processes and to make it more effective and efficient, therefore in designing a package promotional materials should be placed at right place, because it plays an important role to communicate about the product functions, features, and other informational elements. The various informational elements such as product features, manufacturing and expiry date, ingredients information, nutritional information, food labeling etc. provides the consumer with details about the contents and use of a particular product. Therefore these promotional materials should be properly placed on the package in order to attract the potential consumer's attention and to have a positive impact on their buying behavior 4.

Consumer Buying Behavior:

The other main concern of the study is to know about consumer buying behavior or consumer decisions making process and how packaging can influence them to buy a particular product. Marella in one of her articles about packaging defines consumer buying behavior as the process by which “individuals search, select, purchase, use, and dispose of goods and services, in satisfaction of their need and want”. When consumers need to purchase something, they usually go for the brands which are trustworthy and try not to seek other products such as new products or  the brand which they don't know at all 5. Therefore at the point of purchase what communicates or influence consumer to buy particular product is only ‘Packaging'. Quality judgments are significantly influence by the product characteristics reflected by the packaging. Because packaging acts as a communicator, and it underlines overall features and functions of a product that lies in it such as informational elements, product features, material used etc. so if the package is well design and attractive enough, consumer will likely to buy it especially in the case of new products. So, it is important that products should be well and attractive packaged to gain consumer attention.

Purpose Of The Study:

Success of a product depends on developing a strong relationship with consumer through an affective and efficient synergetic marketing mix, in which ‘Packaging” is one of the main elements to influence because packaging is the language of a product which only communicate to the consumer without any interpreter and has an immense effect on purchase decision.

Most Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) is low involvement products. In low involvement, “consumers do not search extensively for information about the brands, evaluate their characteristics, and make a weighty decision on which brand to buy”, and as packaging plays an important role in success of a brand and on a retail shelf it is the last opportunity to influence the consumer to buy, so the main purpose of this research, so this study will be conducted with an idea of knowing the impact & influence of packaging on the purchase decision of FMCG food products, which are mostly consumed frequently and also to know the experiences of the ultimate consumers about packaging.

The research study is basically conducted to apply my theoretical knowledge of marketing in the practical field of professionals by interviewing different consumers and to know their views and preferences towards the importance of food packaging.

The objective of the research study will be focused on:

1. To know consumer awareness about packaging.

2. To examine the influence of existing and new FMCG food products packaging on consumer buying behavior.

3. To examine consumer experience of purchasing packaged food products.

4. To understand how packaging can influence them to purchase their decision powers

5. To know whether a good and attractive packaging of FMCG food products can influence consumers to buy it or not?

Beside this the research is the partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Bachelors of Business Administration and the submission to the Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar.

Methodology Of The Report:

This study has been conducted with the following procedures:

Reading Articles

Reading articles are the formation of the strongest foundation. For this research study I have been reading and looking at different articles and research studies both in libraries as well as through Internet and searching through digital libraries the literature of the my research study.  

Questionnaires

The data for my research study has been collected from a representative sample of 250 people, who are responsible for purchasing the household food products and are also the ultimate consumers of the packaged food products.

The sample from population was derived from shoppers at different geographical areas of Peshawar. The questionnaire was initially put to pilot testing on 5 respondents for clarity and validity. Through the use of questions related to the study, the respondents were highly encouraged to express their opinions. The questionnaire comprised of few questions, grouped in five sections: Visual Impact, Brand Information, food labeling and nutrition information, and new products purchasing. The impact of these variables is analyzed in the Analysis section.

Responses of the consumers have been converted to frequencies and percentages by using SPSS software through which I developed the Bar chart or Histogram in order to explain the degree of impact of mentioned variables on the purchase decision I have also used the Pie chart method in order to find the most influencing variable on the purchase decision.

Scope Of The Study

The Scope for my research study is limited to Peshawar city and the sample for my research has also been taken from the population of Peshawar city for collecting primary data. The market, which has been surveyed, is limited to the consumers in Peshawar region.

The reader of this research report will be able to understand the preferences of consumers about the packaging especially the food packaging, because consumers are more connected to the food industry. And also they would be having better understanding that how packaging can influence consumers' purchase decision? Besides, this research study will also show the knowledge and understanding of packaging features and roles in the marketing efforts and new demands from the packaging industries as far as consumers are concerned.

Limitations

The first hurdle that I have faced is the unavailability of the secondary data about our local markets' consumers therefore, in this stage I had the difficulty to find the relevant data as far as my study of research is concerned. Another limitation is the difficulty in collecting primary data in the market as I have used Questionnaire method but mostly respondents were not familiar about that how to understand and respond to a question being asked. Third limitation is time constraint, which is again a pressure on us to finalize the research report which might caused this research report be deficient in order to cover every aspect of my research study but still I made the best of it.

Sampling

The study population comprised of 250 people who are the ultimate consumers of packaged food products. The sample has been drawn from supermarkets located in different geographical areas in Peshawar and also collected data from the respondents in the universities.

Scheme Of Report

(1) Full Text PDF.

(2) Packaging PDF.

(3) Article URL: http://www.iapriweb.org/packaging_research.html

(4) Information URL:

http://www.tis-gdv.de/tis_e/verpack/funktion/funktion.htm#anfang#anfang

(5) Merella, Article URL:

http://www.helium.com/items/1582891-packaging-affecting-consumer-behavior

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