The Impact of Packaging Designs on Consumer Buying Behaviour of FMCG during the Hyperinflationary and After the Dollarisation Era in Zimbabwe
Department of International Marketing Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
Department of Consumer Science Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
Keywords: Packaging, FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), Consumer buying behaviour, Imports.
Purpose – The main thrust of this research paper is to investigate the effect of designs that come with a package and how they influence consumer purchasing habit of FMCG products in Zimbabwe during and after the multi-currency period. The objectives of the research was to ascertain the major effect of packaging designs on consumer purchasing pattern of FMCG goods in Zimbabwe, to establish the major function of packaging on FMCG products and to examine the salient effect of other factors that can be controlled and that cannot be controlled (such as price, quality, promotion, socio cultural environment, social class, personality and self concept, attitudes and learning) on the purchasing pattern of consumer on FMCG goods during and after the multi-currency period in Zimbabwe. Design/ methodology/ approach –The researcher adopted the descriptive survey and exploratory research designs to gather data from the retail sector. The research was conducted in Harare Zimbabwe where most of the retail outlets are mainly concentrated. A study sample of 47 respondents from the retail sector was used targeting firms in the FMCG sector. Data to answer research problem was obtained through an in-depth interviews and questionnaires. 5 policy makers were interviewed while 42 questionnaires were sent to retail managers and of which 32 were then returned. The target samples were guided with a questionnaire with closed and open ended questions. Respondents were Stratified and conveniently selected. Findings – The findings revealed that, the element with the most influential factor on purchasing habit of FMCG products is printed information as indicated by more respondents. Thus the correct message will sell a product hence designers and product strategists must think first on all messages they are sending to consumers. Printed information has more bearing on the buying pattern of consumers, followed by size. Background image, colour and font styles were also pointed out as having an effect on the buying behaviour of FMCG products. Font styles however have the least effect the purchasing behaviour of consumers. This corresponds with Deliya and Parmar (2012)study which concluded that font style has the least effect as compared to all the packaging elements. It should be concluded that size and material are the visual elements mainly considered by customers when buying products while product information is also the main verbal elements having an effect on consumer decision making. Conclusively packaging elements are perceived to be an element of the product. The research also revealed that, during and after the multi-currency period, consumers in Zimbabwe preferred to purchase more of foreign packaged products than local packed products.