Environmental sustainability and food packaging. The role of packing material in purchasing decisions

  • Donata Tania Vergura
  • Cristina Zerbini
  • Beatrice Luceri
  • Guido Cristini
Keywords: packaging material; attitude; perceived quality; perceived risk; purchase intention; willingness to pay


Purpose of the paper: The paper aims to enrich the knowledge on the role of packaging material in influencing the product buying process.

Methodology: A between-subjects experimental design was conducted in order to investigate if the product quality judgment and the purchase intention towards the product differ among different packaging materials.

Findings: Glass is considered better than other materials, especially in terms of lower perceived risk and higher (a) product quality, (b) intention to buy and (c) willingness to pay. By contrast, plastic does not have a good image.

Research limits: Since the perception of the material should be closely related to the product category, caution should be exercised in generalizing the findings to the all food categories.

Practical implications: The study has useful insights for manufacturers and product managers in the packaging management, one of the relevant components of the marketing mix.

Originality of the paper: Most of the evidence regarding packaging cues focuses principally on elements like colour, shape, graphics and nutritional claims. A limited marketing research has been conducted about the crucial role of the packaging material in the consumers’ evaluation process.


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