Packaging Research Case Study

A food product manufacturer was approached by a major US retailer about changing their product package from a horizontal box to a vertical box. This was requested to make the category look consistent on the shelf (the packages are generally wider when horizontal). As an incentive, the retailer offered to allow line expansion in the space created by the shift from horizontal to vertical. The client would keep their shelf space, adding facings.

The product category has three segments, which, for the purposes of confidentiality, we’ll call A, B, and C. Our client plays in each of these three segments.

The results show a shift to the vertical package is a bad idea for this product. Sales are lower for the brand as a whole, with particular weakness in Segment B (the largest segment in this category).



After the test, consumers evaluated the packages on a 5-point agree/disagree scale. The one attribute that consistently came up statistically significant was “attractive package”. For all three segments, package attractiveness was reduced when we shifted to a vertical alignment.


Based on this data, the client was able to convince the retailer that a vertical package was in neither of their interests.

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