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Packaging design: creating competitive advantage with product packaging

Bo Rundh (Department of Business Administration, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 5 September 2009




The purpose of this paper is to study how packaging and packaging design can contribute to competitive advantage for marketing a consumer product.


Different influences from actors in the packaging design process are discussed in a conceptual model. A single case study based on five “corporate stories” about packaging development resulting in a new package are presented and analysed.


The present study demonstrates influences on the design process of a package from external and internal factors. The outcome of the design process is, to a great extent, dependent on the interaction between the main actors in this process. The study argues for the importance of the interaction with customers for planning and conducting the design. The result of such a process is a package that can trigger customers make a purchase and/or re‐inforce the brand name for a re‐purchase of the product.

Practical implications

The main implications for management are that packaging is a vital instrument in modern marketing activities for consumer goods, for example in the competitive food industry. The study highlights a few factors that trigger a customer to purchase a product by designing a suitable package for the product. Packaging design makes it possible to introduce new and better solutions for diverse marketing and logistic problems in a supply chain.


This paper fulfils an identified need for contributions to more research on packaging and marketing strategy.



Rundh, B. (2009), "Packaging design: creating competitive advantage with product packaging", British Food Journal, Vol. 111 No. 9, pp. 988-1002.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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