(EXAMPLE: 'PACKAGING AUTOMATION')

WESTROCK PULSE PACKAGING SURVEY

The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Attitudes Toward Packaging

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CONNECTING PEOPLE TO PRODUCTS® IN CHALLENGING TIMES

We regularly conduct our own consumer insights research to keep our customers informed about changing consumer preferences for packaging and its impact on purchase behavior, product satisfaction and brand trust.

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HOW HAVE PACKAGING PREFERENCES CHANGED DURING COVID-19? 

The purpose of the WestRock Pulse Packaging Survey is to measure consumer preferences for packaging. We ran our regular consumer insights study in November 2019, and so we replicated it in September 2020 — with a few additional COVID-19-specific questions — to find out exactly how the pandemic has impacted the relationship between consumers and packaging (spoiler alert: we’ve gotten closer). 

PACKAGING IS PLAYING AN INCREASINGLY VITAL ROLE IN CONSUMERS' LIVES.

Our data show that as consumers juggle the many impacts of COVID-19 on their lives, they want packaging to be safe, sustainable and provide a unique brand experience.

consumers want packaging to connect them to products safely

SAFETY FIRST

In a COVID-19 world, consumers want packaging to connect them to products safely - and consumers have high expectations when it comes to safety. 

  • 84% of consumers say packaging that keeps the products safe impacts product satisfaction (same number pre- and mid-COVID-19)
  • 78% say packaging products using materials that keep me and my family safe impacts brand trust (+5pp from 73% in Nov. 2019)
consumers want packaging to connect them to products safely and sustainably

A SUSTAINABLE BALANCE

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 82% of consumers agreed that it is important for brands to balance safety and concern for the environment when designing their product packaging.

Many sustainability-related packaging features are more impactful today than they were before COVID-19. As important as safety is, consumers are not willing to sacrifice sustainability for it.

  • 65% say packaging that can be easily reused or repurposed impacts product satisfaction (up 11 percentage points from 54 percent in Nov. 2019)
consumers want packaging to connect them to brand experiences

BRAND EXPERIENCE

Several features related to packaging aesthetics saw significant gains in impact on consumer purchasing decisions from 2019 to 2020.

  • Has a unique shape or appearance that catches my attention (+9pp for online purchases and +10pp for in-store)

Another area that saw significant gains was the communication of brand values on packaging.

  • 57% said packaging that communicates the brand or company’s core values and purpose impacts product satisfaction (+9pp from 48% in Nov. 2019)
Data for select European countries available upon request from your WestRock partner.

MAKING THE CONNECTION

Our data also show that when brands deliver on these packaging attributes, it can have a positive impact on consumer purchasing behavior, product satisfaction and brand trust—in some ways even more than before COVID-19.

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WestRock Pulse Packaging Survey is an ongoing tracking study designed to measure how this rapidly changing landscape may affect consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviors about packaging. 2,024 consumers were surveyed online: Nov. 2019 (pre-COVID-19) n = 1,002; Sept 2020 (mid-COVID-19) n = 1,022

 

Read WestRock Chief Marketing Officer Margaret Herndon’s insights on the impact of COVID-19 on consumer attitudes towards packaging.