Date of Award
Master of Science
Communication and Information
Dr. Eric Haley
Dr. Eric Haley, Dr. Matthew Pittman, Professor Robyn Blakeman
Packaging is a crucial aspect in the marketing world. It can give implicit and explicit cues about the content within. Food packaging is especially crucial to examine when analyzing health perceptions about a product. Packaging is a communication vehicle for the consumer to perceive the quality of the food or beverage product and possibly infer if the product is healthy just by examining the exterior of the product. This research hopes to determine if consumers base perceived health notions on bottle shape and/or color. By manipulating the shape and color of the bottle, the study is looking to find any significant differences in perceived health ideas. Three hundred nineteen individuals in the United States took a survey that examined four stimuli. Each stimulus was an image of the fruit-juice product in a bottle that had been manipulated to be tall and slim or short and wide. Each of the manipulated bottle’s label and top was assigned the color yellow and green. The participants received one of the randomly assigned stimuli to examine and answer questions regarding product quality, nutrition, health, and confidence.
The results found that there is not a significant difference in the shape of the beverage bottle influencing health perceptions about the product. However, the color yellow was seen as less attractive and less “healthy” than the color green. Although there was no major significance found between packaging shape and color impacting consumer perceived health notions in this study, that could be due to the limited sample size and time-line of the study. More research should be considered to fully understand if a product’s package shape and color can impact consumers perceived notions on health. This is important for food marketers and advertisers to examine to lessen the gap between the product’s actual health benefits and the perceived health benefits based on the exterior of the product.
Bagwell, Allison Grace, "Can packaging impact consumers perceptions of what products appear to look healthy Vs. If they actually are healthy?. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2023.