MWV Study: Fewer Than 20 Percent of U.S. Consumers Very Satisfied with Packaging

  MWV Study: Fewer Than 20 Percent of U.S. Consumers Very Satisfied with

“Packaging Matters” identifies structural features as biggest opportunity for
                brands to delight consumers through packaging

Business Wire

RICHMOND, Va. -- February 6, 2013

MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE: MWV), a global leader in packaging and
packaging solutions  launched its inaugural consumer satisfaction study,
“Packaging Matters.” The study explores the role of packaging in product
satisfaction as consumers purchase, transport, use and dispose of products
across 10 different categories. The results suggest that packaging
satisfaction can have a significant impact on purchase intent and repeat
purchase, and that there is a low level of satisfaction overall, especially
once consumers leave the store and rely on the structural or functional
features of the package at home or on-the-go.

The study clearly shows that when it comes to purchase intent and product
satisfaction, packaging does matter. A majority of consumers will sometimes
buy a product off the shelf without prior knowledge of it (64 percent) and
rarely use mobile devices to research a product while shopping (72 percent).
While quality (85 percent) and price (67 percent) are the most important
factors contributing to overall product satisfaction, consumers report little
variance in importance between a product’s brand (12 percent) and packaging
(10 percent).

Despite the importance of packaging, there is a clear opportunity for
improvement: Fewer than 20 percent of U.S. consumers report they are “very
satisfied” with product packaging, with the least amount of satisfaction from
carry-out food containers and beauty care product packaging.

“The research further proves that packaging is one of the most powerful tools
in the marketing communications mix, but as it stands now, packaging does not
delight consumers,” said Brian Richard, director, Consumer & Customer
Insights, MWV. “Brands should view the current gap in satisfaction as an
opportunity to make improvements to their packaging by focusing on what
matters most to consumers.”

Packaging satisfaction ends on the shelf

The study identified “satisfaction gaps:” the importance of different
packaging attributes compared to their perceived performance. Of the 15
packaging attributes studied, only a small percentage of consumers ranked
shelf appeal, or the product’s “attractiveness” and “distinctiveness,” as
”very important” features to their satisfaction (6 percent and 10 percent,
respectively). However, this is where brands were performing best, with
performance exceeding importance. While brands are generally pleasing
consumers during the shopping experience, satisfaction drops dramatically when
product packaging is relied upon for transport and storage and then when the
product is used and reused.

The largest satisfaction gaps across categories all relate to the structural
features or functionality of the packaging. In terms of importance, consumers
want packaging that protects from breaking or spilling (74 percent), maintains
product integrity (72 percent) and gets the entire product out of the package
(66 percent).

“Packaging satisfaction decreases significantly after consumers leave the
store, at all touch points along the product lifecycle, such as transporting,
storing and using the product. This is a huge missed opportunity for brands,”
said Steve Kazanjian, vice president, Global Creative, MWV. “Structural
features of the packaging should be viewed as the most critical area for
brands to make improvements to drive consumer satisfaction.”

“Packaging that lives up to the brand promise of its marketing communications
holds the most potential for repeat purchase,” Kazanjian added. “As more
retail migrates online, consumers are interacting less with brick-and-mortar
channels. A disappointed consumer can switch brands with one click, so the
role of packaging is increasingly an important vehicle for brand owners to
connect with their consumers at touch points throughout the product’s

Packaging satisfaction varies across demographics

Results of “Packaging Matters” reveal a significant variance across a variety
of demographics and categories. For example:

  *Consumers ages 18-24 are most satisfied with packaging (22 percent)
  *Middle-class consumers are the least satisfied with packaging (17 percent)
  *Consumers are most satisfied with carbonated soft drink packaging (24
    percent) and least satisfied with carry-out packaging (11 percent)

“Packaging Matters: Packaging Satisfaction Study” was commissioned by MWV and
studied the shopping habits and consumers satisfaction with packaging from
store shelf to transport, storage, use and disposal of 3,000 U.S. consumers.
For full study results, visit

For more information on MWV’s packaging solutions, please visit

About MWV

MeadWestvaco Corporation (NYSE:MWV) is a global packaging company providing
innovative solutions to the world’s most admired brands in the healthcare,
beauty and personal care, food , beverage, home and garden, tobacco, and
agricultural industries. The company also produces specialty chemicals for the
automotive, energy, and infrastructure industries and maximizes the value of
its land holdings through forestry operations, property development and land
sales. MWV’s network of 125 facilities and 16,000 employees spans North
America, South America, Europe and Asia. The company has been recognized for
financial performance and environmental stewardship with a place on the Dow
Jones Sustainability World Index every year since 2005. Learn more at

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MeadWestvaco Corporation
Tucker McNeil, +1 804-444-6397
Investor Relations
Jason Thompson, +1 804-444-2556
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