Jul 13, 2012
Consumer expectations develop along with technologyBack
Engineering|Dell|Design|Environment|Packaging|Sustainable|Switch|Harmful Printing Products|Information Technology Sector|Media Emphasis|Packaging|Printing|Product|Products|Environmental|Act|Adam Botha|Information Technology
© Reuse this
“While consumers tend to focus more on what a brand represents than the type of packaging used, media emphasis on the green phenomena has resulted in strong awareness about the importance of green packaging materials,” he comments.
Different packaging materials are continuously being developed in the industry to comply with technological advances and consumer needs.
“Bamboo packaging is a popular trend in the industry as it is recyclable and bamboo grows quickly.”
Engineering News reported in November 2010 that computer and consumables company Dell was contributing to greening the information technology sector through several packaging initiatives, including the use of bamboo packaging for the shipping of its Dell mini products.
He points out that it is the responsibility of packaging designers and product manufacturers that use the packaging to ensure packaging methods are environment-friendly and move away from using harmful printing products, such as ultraviolet varnishes, to more sustainable methods, such as vegetable dyes.
The natural dyes contained in vegetables and plants can not only be extracted but can also in future possibly be used as ink to print packaging designs, which is a sustainable green method, he explains.
The problem, however, is that the industry has not developed this method to its full potential as it is not yet suitable for use in the printing of packaging materials.
Nevertheless, Botha believes that, going forward, manufacturers should consider using this method as companies are increasingly pressured to comply with green standards.
Further, he states that technology continues to change how brands communicate and interact with consumers. This results in the replacement of traditional touch points with online alternatives, such as the distribution of online brochures instead of printed brochures, which is more cost effective.
“Consumers want a 360° view of packaging and seek interaction with a brand through the information provided on packaging material.
“Companies need to communicate with consumers through blogs and competitions. Those who do not interact fall behind,” says Botha.
The packaging world has become fast-paced and it is increasingly challenging to be creative with design, as more information is needed on the material, resulting in limited space.
He points out that the negative aspects of a product cannot be hidden in small print on the back of packaging, as potentially dangerous substances or ingredients need to be made visible so that consumers like diabetics who may be affected, will not miss important information.
The CPA came into effect on April 1, 2011. Its aim is to protect consumers and, therefore, it impacts on the way companies are required to present their products to them.
“In the past, packaging did not tell consumers everything they needed to know. This law will help to make packaging more authentic and truthful. It is a great way to ensure that consumers are protected,” comments Botha.
Meanwhile, he states that because packaging is such an important part of the purchasing decision and experience, many brands need to rethink their packaging in terms of how digitally savvy consumers expect to engage with it.
“It’s not enough to put a quick response (QR) code on a box or packet, especially if you’re a high-end, fast-moving consumer goods brand. Consumers want immediate access to information.”
A QR code is a two-dimensional code with a large storage capacity, compared with universal product codes.
However, the use of QR codes did not receive the desired feedback from designers and consumers in the packaging industry, he states.
“Many companies placed QR codes on packaging materials and when consumers scanned the code with their phones it diverted them to the company’s website address. This questions why companies do not put their website address on the packaging instead of a QR code, as it would be less work for the consumer.”
Packaging needs to enhance purchasers’ status and it has to help them navigate information and appeal to their senses, while capturing the brand’s essence, says Botha.
As such, packaging design that provides adequate information and interacts with the consumer at this level, while also conforming to environmental responsibilities, has arguably become more important in our digital world, he concludes.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Environment News
Updated 20 minutes ago The Department of Economic Development, together with Spanish solar company Abengoa and the Industrial Development Corporation on Monday launched a 100 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) park, about 60 km outside Pofadder, in the Northern Cape. Speaking to journalists...
Updated 29 minutes ago South Africa could face another delay in its already years-delayed digital migration project if government adopted the much-disputed conditional access (CA) for the set-top boxes (STBs) required to intercept digital broadcasting frequencies. Emerging black-owned...
Updated 29 minutes ago JSE-listed real estate investment trust Dipula Income Fund has entered into agreements to acquire the Umzimkhulu Shopping Centre, in KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the Corporate Industrial Park, in Polokwane, from two different vendors for R336-million. The industrial...
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 6 hours ago Subscribe to Engineering News and Mining Weekly for two years, but only pay for the first year. The weekly editions of Engineering News and Mining Weekly will be posted to your preferred postal address and also gain access to:
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.