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Helping consumers fall back in love with packaging

Smurfit Kappa - Fall back in love

There is a common misconception that all packaging is wasteful and damaging to the environment, with 57% of consumers less likely to buy products that are placed in harmful packaging (Cision). However, this isn’t always the case. Though there are certainly some culprits in eCommerce with less-than-desirable delivery boxes, including those that can’t be recycled, it’s perfectly possible to find packaging your customers will rave about.

With planet friendly packaging solutions that are fit-for-purpose and offer product protection, it’s possible to help your consumers fall back in love with packaging. Below, we’ll guide you through the process of transforming your packaging into an environmentally friendly, integral, and efficacious part of your customers’ experience of buying from your business.

Consumer perceptions and loveless packaging

It’s no secret that packaging concerns are buzzing among consumers, especially surrounding the environmental impact and waste that packaging can cause. For example, the use of plastics is a hot topic currently, with the UN Environment Program reporting that 36% of all plastic produced is for single-use purposes, and the OECD outlining that despite recycling efforts, only 9% of plastic waste has been recycled globally, with the remaining 79% going to landfills and the natural environment, and 12% being incinerated. Many consumers are aware of the impact of single-use plastics on the environment which has led to sustainability continuing to steal the show, going beyond a consumer trend and instead being an expectation of responsible brands. In fact, a whopping 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase brands that offer green or sustainable products, and 49% said they would pay more for sustainable packaging and delivery (Deloitte).

But that’s not all, instances of damaged products also pose a major problem and can negatively impact a customer’s experience with your brand, altering their overall perception. An overwhelming 73% of consumers would be unlikely to purchase from a company again after receiving a damaged item (Packaging News), and 1 in 3 consumers would leave a brand they love after one bad experience, while 92% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions (PWC). Without adequate product protection, damaged products are likely to be returned or even discarded before they’re used, resulting in unnecessary waste, leaving consumers feeling frustrated and disgruntled with your business.

Planet loving packaging solutions

By using planet friendly packaging materials, your business can align with changing consumer attitudes and ethical considerations. It goes hand in hand with the expectation for green packaging and shows that your business is committed to building a greener future and ultimately cares about customer views, which in turn helps to build trust and boost loyalty. Building trust with your customer base through aligning your values is important as we know that 88% of consumers who trust a brand will buy again (Deloitte) and UK consumers are reportedly willing to spend 44% more on average with retailers they trust (Retail Insights Network).

Packaging designed with the environment in mind makes it possible to not only meet consumer wants and needs, but also actively contributes to reducing the environmental impact of packaging waste and acting as a growth catalyst for businesses. Take a look at how we worked with Sutherlands of Portsoy to create 100% recyclable packaging that removed the need for Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), whilst still providing the best product protection and the required insulation qualities here.

From biodegradable plastics to recyclable and compostable packaging, embracing these ecological solutions highlights your business’ step towards building a more eco-conscious and responsible packaging industry customers will thank you for.
















Perfectly practical fit-for-purpose packaging


True fit-for-purpose packaging goes beyond simply looking the part; it must also be practical and created with consumers in mind. Packaging solutions designed to be accessible – for example, incorporating easy-to-open options creates accessible packaging – cater to the diverse needs of consumers, giving everyone a straightforward unboxing experience. 62% of Gen Z believe increased diversity is good for society and empathy and accountability are highly regarded by this group (Pew Research Centre), with 80% saying it’s important for brands to embrace diversity and inclusion (Hooley Brown).


Fit-for-purpose packaging should also facilitate easy product returns via eCommerce mailing boxes, which helps to create a seamless and enjoyable customer experience that they are more likely to share on social media. And with 82% of people trusting social networks to guide purchasing decisions, what buyers say about your business online really matters (Digital Marketing Institute)


Packaging that’s tailored to the product’s needs not only minimises the chances of damage during shipping but also effectively contributes to waste reduction and enhances overall customer satisfaction. Prioritising the functionality and aesthetics of packaging allows businesses to optimise the entire consumer experience, even when handling returns.


Creating heartfelt emotional connections


When designed thoughtfully, packaging becomes a powerful tool for creating emotional connections between consumers and brands. It enhances the visual appeal of a product and also reinforces the idea that the product was crafted with love. Take the ‘Packed By’ stickers that Lush uses, which make customers feel as though much care and attention has gone into packing their order. It’s harder for customers to fall out of love with a brand when they feel a genuine connection to your story.


The psychological impact of packaging design is impressive. Colours, shapes, and images all stir up emotions, creating a unique and memorable experience. Using strategic colours and shapes makes packaging a key part of the product experience, shaping consumer perceptions, and creating a sense of attachment. Iconic examples such as Tiffany’s blue boxes or Toblerone’s distinctive pyramid shape are good examples of how powerful packaging can be when strengthening brand loyalty and making brands instantly recognisable.


For example, with the incorporation of their musical heritage with a vinyl player featured on their boxes, Dalston’s Soda were able to establish and reinforce their brand awareness – take a look here. Emotional connections aren’t just there for the big players in the market – smaller brands can make just as much impact on their customers using these methods.


In today’s digital world, packaging is not just a functional and protective way to manage products; it’s an essential touch point to engage and connect with consumers online. When customers are impressed by the packaging, they’re more likely to spread the word on social media, become repeat buyers and even advocates for your business.


Capture hearts for customer retention


Packaging is a big part of attracting customers, but it’s an even bigger part of retaining them. Close to 50% of a business’s revenue comes from approximately 8% of its most loyal customers, which shows just how important it is to ensure the satisfaction of an existing customer base (LinkedIn). Plus, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a business’s revenue by around 25%, further highlighting just how much impact holding on to customers can have on a business (LinkedIn).


Packaging extends the brand experience beyond the initial purchase, taking the brand, it’s ethos and story into customers’ homes. Consistent and high-quality packaging can reinforce brand values and build trust over time as customers know what to expect and look forward to from a brand. This is boosted even further by smart packaging, and personalised and exclusive packaging designs – such as limited-edition designs, personalised messages, and loyalty rewards – which make customers feel valued, further encouraging repeat purchases. In a recent survey, over half of brands consider smart packaging important for educating customers, with 88% planning on implementing interactive packaging in future (Packaging News). This suggests that smart packaging is on the rise and may be a great tool to ensure customers stay in love with your packaging.


Romancing iconic packaging designs


Consumers have a strong emotional connection to packaging, and it plays a key part of the product and overall brand experience. This is especially true with iconic packaging designs, like, Pringles tubes and those memorable cereal boxes from your childhood that evoke fond memories. It was found that 40% of global consumers have sought out products and flavours that remind them of the past and simpler times over this past year (FMCG Guru’s). This suggests that the value of sentiment is on the rise and these packaging choices are effective because they evoke emotional reactions, such as nostalgia or familiarity and make a customer feel connected to the product, packaging, and ultimately, the brand.


These businesses have used packaging to create a distinct identity and emotional connection with consumers. Why? Because, when faced with several other products on the shelf, consumers can quickly recognise the distinctive shape or colours of their favourite brands.


The way to consumers’ hearts


As you can see, the transformative influence of thoughtful, sustainable, and emotionally engaging packaging can truly transform the consumer experience. This paradigm shift not only rekindles their appreciation for packaging but also cultivates brand loyalty.


Instead of simply looking at packaging as a business necessity, explore the profound impact that purposeful and creative packaging can have on your target audience, recognising its potential to leave a lasting and meaningful impression.


With our range of planet loving packaging solutions, Smurfit Kappa can help you get consumers to fall back in love with your packaging. Get in touch today to see how.








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Ruth Evans

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