Are brands endangering consumer loyalty with poor packaging choices?

Posted: January 7, 2015 by
Linda Casey

Packaging that isn’t designed to enable virtually complete product evacuation could be endangering brand loyalty, according to a new survey by LiquiGlide Inc., a company that creates custom coatings that allows viscous liquids to move easily for a variety of consumer and industrial applications.

More than one thousand consumers were asked about their attitudes and habits related to the packaging, use, waste and disposal of sticky consumer goods. When told how much shampoo, conditioner, mayonnaise, laundry detergent, toothpaste, and body lotion that the average person throws away, 89% of those surveyed responded that they think it’s “a huge waste,” and 85% say they hate that they’re not getting the full value of what they paid for. While 57% of respondents think manufacturers are “screwing them over,” almost two-thirds (60%) say what bothers them most is the wasted money.

 The overwhelming majority of respondents said they were willing to try new packaging if it enabled them to get products out easily (toothpaste, 93%; shampoo, 89%; body lotion, 88%; laundry detergent, 87%; conditioner, 85% and mayo, 80%). The survey also revealed interesting data about brand loyalty – most respondents are willing to switch brands for ones with more efficient packaging (body lotion, 74%; toothpaste, 71%; laundry detergent, 69%; shampoo, 68%; conditioner, 67% and mayo, 60%).

Consumer reported that they hated product waste more than going to the dentist or doing household chores. When asked to rate their dislike for certain activities on a scale of 1-10, wasting consumer products (average: 4.8) topped going to the dentist (4.3) and doing chores (4.2), and tied paying taxes (4.8)! Waiting for the cable repairperson topped the list, with an average rating of 5.7.

It’s not only about the lost money; it’s about the principle of the matter and the environmental impact. The top reason why people hate wasting consumer goods is wasted money (60% of respondents). When asked how much money they thought they lost annually because they couldn’t get to the last few drops of product, 60% estimated between $1 and $49, and 33% estimated $50 or more worth of product wasted each year. Beyond money concerns, 20% of respondents said it’s the principle of the matter that they should get everything they paid for, and 16% cited environmental concerns.

 Consumers are determined to get every last drop. More than 60% of respondents spend more than a few minutes squeezing or scraping the last drops of product, including 15% who spend “as long as it takes.” More than two-thirds (69%) say they hesitate to open a new package when there’s still a tiny bit left in the previous one. 27% of the respondents who live with their significant other (182 of 665) admitted to fighting over product waste.