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The impact of visual and child-oriented packaging elements versus information on children’s purchase influence across various age groups

Monali Hota (Marketing and International Negotiations Department, IESEG School of Management, Lille, France)
Karine Charry (Marketing and International Negotiations Department, IESEG School of Management, Lille, France)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 1 December 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of recalling visual and child-oriented product packaging elements vs informational content on children’s influence on household purchases.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted using quantitative research among 100 French consumers of breakfast cereals aged six to 11.

Findings

The paper challenges previous findings. First, the recall of the various types of packaging elements was equivalent across age groups. Second, the impact of visual and child-oriented element recall on purchase influences was high, especially for younger children, but not superior to the impact of recalling informational packaging elements. Third, adding information and other elements to visuals reduced young children’s intentions to influence purchases, suggesting that the overload – not the nature – of elements has a negative impact. Fourth, packaging recall seemed weakly related to purchase influence – at least for well-known brands.

Research limitations/implications

Further research on larger samples will allow to encompass potential moderators such as brand context, consumer context and packaging stimulus. Research should also compare the positive (reassuring) influence of adding informational elements on mothers to the negative one it has on children’s influence.

Practical implications

These findings can be used to wisely plan retailers’ packaging strategy. But all in all, retail packaging represents only one of the many factors which impact upon children’s diet and food consumptions and should be reassessed in the face other influences.

Originality/value

The findings challenge and expand one’s knowledge on the relationship between children and the relative influence of child-oriented elements and information, across age groups.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

It is acknowledged that the research data were collected by Pauline David. The authors thank her for her contribution.

Citation

Hota, M. and Charry, K. (2014), "The impact of visual and child-oriented packaging elements versus information on children’s purchase influence across various age groups", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 42 No. 11/12, pp. 1069-1082. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-08-2013-0159

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited