What does the consumer want from their packaging? - Wessex Packaging

What does the consumer want from their packaging?

14th February 2024

There is a lot to consider when designing your products packaging. There’s the design to think of, the materials and the budget. However, you shouldn’t get bogged down in designing the packaging of your dreams, you should concentrate on designing the packaging of your target markets dreams! Customer expectations of a products packaging differ in every industry; get it wrong and you might end up missing out on a sale.

Consumer expectations

Consumer expectations are always on the rise and those companies which cannot meet the expectations of their customers are going to lose out. In depth research of your target audience will reveal what those expectations are. In some cases, the expectations are obvious. For example, luxury gifts are expected to have quite intricate packaging designs where the packaging itself may be more delicate than the product inside. Presentation is key in this market and the customer expects good looking packaging. Compare this to the sale of fridge freezers and the expectations are completely different. Customers want packaging which will keep their product unharmed and have little care for the appearance of the packaging as long as it is easy to remove and the product underneath is intact.

The expectations of consumers can be quite unique to each individual. For those who like to buy ‘green’ products, for example organic foods, they may expect the packaging that comes with the product to be environmentally friendly. This highlights the importance of knowing your audience and making sure you don’t miss out on potential sales of your product because you chose the wrong packaging.

Fit for purpose packaging

One of the most important expectations your consumers have when it comes to packaging is that it is fit for purpose. For example, food packaging plays a very specific role in the products life cycle. Packaging is designed to keep the product fresh and inform the consumer of important information such as use by date and storage and cooking specifications. These are the basic expectations of packaging which is fit for purpose in the food industry. If your packaging does not meet the minimum standards then it may put the product itself at risk.


Packaging should be a convenience to the consumer and make their buying experience more efficient and enjoyable. It should make the product easy to transport and should make un-packaging the product and disposing of the packaging straightforward. Using food packaging as an example again, many products which need to be kept fresh have introduced ‘resealable packaging’, whether that be in the form of a sticker, a slider or a press to close. This makes it much easier for the consumer to keep their product fresh. Other design elements of the packaging make the consumers choice to buy or not much easier too, such as packaging with a window which allows the consumer to see the food product itself and decide whether it looks like something they want to buy or not.

Cost effectiveness

As much as the consumer wants more from their packaging, they don’t want to have to pay much more. You need to develop the most cost effective way of designing and creating your packaging so that it does not affect the price of your product too substantially. Again, this works differently in different industries as the packaging of a luxury gift is practically considered part of the product, so consumers expect to pay more. If your packaging substantially raises the price of your product, there needs to be a reason for it and the consumer needs to be fully on board with your reasoning.

The key point to take away from this is that a knowledge of your own audiences’ expectations is key to the success of your products packaging design. Considerable market and audience research should be done to discover what they want, then you will have the rational for creating your packaging. At Wessex Packaging, we have a wealth of knowledge in many industry sectors, so please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your packaging needs further.

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