Format & Packaging – Becoming critical factors in purchase decision

A friend, let’s call him Mr. S, an extremely healthy eater and fitness freak, travels every week for work to semi-urban places where he has no access to healthy food alternatives. He prefers to carry snacks from home. His preference – McVities over Britannia NutriChoice basis taste. But his final purchase choice – Britannia NutriChoice 5 Grain, Ragi and Oats biscuits over McVities. Why so? – Because unlike McVities, Britannia NutriChoice range of biscuits come in single-serve packets. Each box contains 4-6 smaller packets containing 3 biscuits each, so he can eat 1 packet at a time and not worry about putting a rubber band around the remaining biscuits, or sealing it properly to avoid spillage and sogginess. McVities on the other hand- comes in a single stack of biscuits wrapped in plastic inside a cardboard carton. Such is the power of this convenience offering.

Similarly, although he prefers the taste & texture of Quaker Oats, he travels with Sunny Select brand of instant oatmeal which comes in single-serve sachets and in assorted flavors such as apple & cinnamon, bananas & cream, blueberries and cream, peaches and cream, strawberries and cream and has low-sugar variants.

Mrs. P, full-time office manager, mother of two teenage boys and overweight, prefers to eat Special K, but has to end up carrying the smaller packs of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes as her snack to office, because Special K isn’t available in snack-size packs.

McVities, Quaker Oats and Others – are you listening?

By,

Roshni Jhaveri

2012-01-11T05:32:26+00:00

6 Comments

  1. Rahul Jhaveri January 11, 2012 at 6:29 am - Reply

    1. How are the two products priced? Perhaps the choice people make is a factor of both price and packaging IF taste and perceived health benefits are the same. If McVities is priced significantly lower then preferences because of packaging might become arbitrary.
    2. Maybe McVities’ packaging stems from an older paradigm of consumer behavior where people had a packet of glucose biscuits which they had from a platter over tea with a group of people. However, there has been a paradigm shift where people are consuming these things alone, and on the go. McVities probably hasn’t factored that in while deciding how they package.
    3. Once a consumer prefers to buy one product over another they are likely to opt for OTHER products by the same company. So companies aren’t only losing out on immediate sales of a current product but also future sales of a product they haven’t yet launched. I agree that they need to focus more on packaging.

  2. Rahul Jhaveri January 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I posted a link to your blog post on McVities Facebook page. They promptly replied as follows:

    McVitie’s India: Thanks for sharing this with us Rahul Jhaveri. 🙂 McVitie’s Digestive infact are available in a smaller pack size as well (also shown in the picture pasted in the blog article!)

    Rahul Jhaveri: The smaller pack is still not as small as alternatives available in the market where there are just 3 biscuits in each packet. Also, most of the times the McVities biscuits come out broken in multiple pieces and powdered because there isn’t an additional hard plastic casing available under the wrapper (like what NutriChoice has because of which the biscuits come out intact). It’s the difference between Lays and Pringle packaging. Might be something for you guys to consider. Perhaps resealable packaging might be a good option. Thought some consumer feedback might be of interest to you’ll.

    McVitie’s India: Thank you for your feedback Rahul Jhaveri we will definitely share that with our product team 🙂

    9/10 for prompt response. Now let’s see how they follow up with the customer feedback over the next 6 months.

    Britannia didn’t even have a FB page so I went on their website and dropped a comment that they should have a FB page and posted a link to your article. Let’s see how long they take to respond (if at all they do)

    • escapevelocityblog January 17, 2012 at 7:27 am - Reply

      Hi Rahul

      Thanks for posting our post on the McVitie’s India Facebook page and sharing their reponse with us. Tracking such changing consumer preferences are especially critical for FMCG companies – where competition is stiff, options for consumers are varied, new product introductions are common, consumer brand loyalty is relatively low and consumer attention is constantly shifting and shrinking.

      Would be interesting to know Britannnia’s reponse as well – please do keep us posted on that. Thanks.

      Best,
      Roshni

  3. douban January 18, 2012 at 1:19 am - Reply

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    • escapevelocityblog January 18, 2012 at 11:18 am - Reply

      Hi

      Thanks for the appreciation and encouragement – it is what keeps us going. Do keep visiting our blog regularly.

      Best
      Roshni

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