Jul 13, 2012
Consumer expectations develop along with technologyBack
Engineering|Dell|Packaging|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
Other Packaging, Labelling and Barcoding News
South Africa will use the upcoming US-Africa Leaders' Summit, which will also encompass the 2014 edition of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Forum, to appeal for a 15-year extension of the nonreciprocal trade arrangement, as well as South Africa’s...
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...
Next ArticleCarton recycling creates local jobs