Are women more susceptible to packaging gimmicks than men?

Shaun Weston24 Jun 2013

Women are more than three times as likely to be susceptible to packaging gimmicks and on-pack promotions than men, according to new research by Packaging Innovations organiser easyFairs.

The company surveyed over 500 marketing and packaging professionals who are responsible for the packaging deployed by many of the world's most successful brands. According to 77% of these packaging professionals, the people most likely to be influenced by new packaging concepts and on-pack promotions are females.

Women aged between 20 and 30 are the most easily targeted group, with 29% saying this group is most likely to be drawn by a packaging gimmick, whereas only 16% nominate men in this age range. In addition, the marketers and packaging decision-makers studied suggest that the gender divide is even stronger among teenagers. 27% of marketers say that, as a group, teenage girls aged 13-19 are most attracted to novel packaging. In stark contrast, just 9% suggest teenage boys.

As you move down the age range, the level of difference is smaller, but it's still there: 4% nominate girls under 13 as the group most affected by a novel pack or pack promotion, whereas 3% believe it is boys of this age who are the most easily influenced by a pack.

The power of novelty packs overall seems to decline among older aged consumers of either gender, but even so more than 8% believe women aged 31-50 are most susceptible to gimmicks, whereas only 4% nominate men in this age range.

Catching shoppers' eyes

The research was conducted on behalf of Packaging Innovations London 2013, which takes place at the Business Design Centre on 1-2 October.

So, does this research suggest women are more susceptible than men and that the show's aisles will be packed with female-orientated packaging? Not necessarily, according to Alison Church, event director from show organiser easyFairs.

"Many brands will work hard to attract the female purchaser because in households they are often the key decision-maker, and that could be influencing the findings," she said. "However, most brand managers will work hard to ensure their packaging catches the eye of any shopper who is in their target market, irrespective of their age or gender.

"Plus, there are plenty of men who are drawn to a pack or promotion. For instance, when you combine the figures you can see that over a quarter of marketers believe males aged 13-30 are the groups most susceptible to packaging concepts and gimmicks. They're not going to overlook these lucrative groups. That's why, at the show, we expect to see every kind of new concept on show. No matter what niche or group someone is targeting, there will be a packaging idea to grab them."