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Shaping consumer perception: effects of vertical and horizontal packaging alignment

Jannick Bettels (Institute of Marketing and Management, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany)
Janina Haase (Institute of Marketing and Management, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany)
Klaus-Peter Wiedmann (Institute of Marketing and Management, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 23 March 2020

Issue publication date: 21 May 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Packaging represents an essential issue for marketers in terms of effectively communicating the product’s benefits, especially in the case of organic food products. Because of logistical advantages, rectangular packaging is frequently used for organic food products. However, the question arises whether packaging alignment may significantly influence consumers’ decision-making at the point of sale. Therefore, this paper aims to examine the effects of rectangular packaging alignment (vertical vs horizontal) on consumer perception in the context of organic food products.

Design/methodology/approach

On the basis of the empirical results of a pilot study, a between-subjects online experiment with a sample size of 699 participants and two conditions (vertical vs horizontal packaging alignment) was performed. Analyses of covariance and PROCESS mediation analysis were used for data analysis.

Findings

The results of two empirical studies confirm the relevance of differences in consumers’ horizontal and vertical information processing for the research context of organic food and provide evidence for the assumed relevance of packaging alignment by ultimately showing a change in packaging alignment affects consumers’ willingness to pay. Importantly, this effect is mediated by utilitarian value perception.

Originality/value

This paper importantly contributes to research on packaging design of organic food products. Specifically, the relevance of an efficient utilitarian value perception for the consumer’s willingness to pay is highlighted in this context. Potential implications of these results for companies, consumers and public health are discussed.

Keywords

Citation

Bettels, J., Haase, J. and Wiedmann, K.-P. (2020), "Shaping consumer perception: effects of vertical and horizontal packaging alignment", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 423-431. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-05-2019-3231

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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