In this study, we tested a cardboard packaging versus three plastic variants:
The IAT showed that the cardboard buckets are indeed perceived as considerably more sustainable than the plastic variants. A plastic bag is slightly less sustainable, but is still considered more sustainable than a plastic bucket.
Interestingly, recycled plastic is considered less sustainable than a bucket without this label.
Although rationally counterintuitive, this is a well-known phenomenon in consumer psychological literature: when you emphasize that a negative point is not present or to a lesser extent, the consumer is more aware of the existence of this negative property. In this way, a boomerang effect occurs, which means that consumers consider packaging to be even less environmentally friendly.
Each type of packaging differed greatly in shape. From the tall and narrow plastic buckets to the low and wide cardboard boxes. This brings up the challenge of volume perception; with which package does the customers feel like they get the most value for money?
To find out, Unravel conducted an estimation experiment. Three groups of 75 respondents each were presented with one type of packaging within a supermarket context, asking "How many grams of Vitapep do you think this package contains?". Because each group estimated a single package, there was no undesirable influence of multiple types of packaging on each other.
Interestingly, the volume is underestimated with the low wide cardboard packaging, while they are underestimated with the tall narrow plastic buckets. This is a well-known phenomenon in perception psychology: height overrules width. High packaging seem to be larger in volume. This research sublimely confirms that: people overestimate both plastic buckets and underestimate the cardboard packaging.
In explicit questioning, consumers indicate that a label with "recycled plastic" indicates to them that this packaging is sustainable. However, our unconscious associations show something completely different. We therefore know that consumers who care about sustainability, do not include this label in their consideration.
A super valuable insight for Vitapep that gives clear recommendations for even better (and sustainable) packaging.
Unravel Research uses EEG, eye tracking and IAT to understand what the consumer won't tell you. This way we increase the impact of your ads.
Curious how your brand can profit from neuromarketing research? Tim loves to show you 5 crucial insights that lay the foundation for a perfect - sales increasing - commercial..