Is What You See What You Get? Consumer Responses to Product Packaging Transparency

Rishtee Batra, Indian School of Business, India
Benjamin Lawrence, Boston University, USA
Sucharita Chandran, Boston University, USA
In this research we examine the relationship between the transparency of packaging and consumers’ evaluations for a variety of product categories that vary in the extent of sensory contact or involvement of consumers. For those products that are high on sensory attributes such as turkey and cotton tips, participants show a preference for transparent (vs. opaque) packaging while they are indifferent to packaging for those products low on sensory attributes (DVDs, highlighters; Study 1). This transparency advantage is mitigated when other relevant information (visual of cotton tips) or (verbal claim that opaque turkey packaging prevents freezer burn; Study 2). Finally, when negative emotions such as disgust are instantiated. Not only does this transparency advantage not manifest but there is an opacity advantage – i.e. opaque packaging is preferred (nausea medicine; study 3).
[ to cite ]:
Rishtee Batra, Benjamin Lawrence, and Sucharita Chandran (2010) ,"Is What You See What You Get? Consumer Responses to Product Packaging Transparency", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 651-651 .