Packaging healthfulness : the effect of restrained eating, categorical thinking and seals/claims on perceived healthfulness.
Lee, Wei Xun.
Low, Jin Yong.
Nguyen, Thi Kim Thu.
Tang, Stanley Wei Hong.
Date of Issue2011
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Packaging is considered the fifth “P” in the marketing mix due to its potential influence on consumer perception. Food packaging in general and packaging incorporating health messages in particular have been active areas of inquiry, receiving much attention from policy makers and food manufacturers alike. This study sets out to explore the effects of restraint status, categorical thinking, and the presence of a seal or a claim on perceived healthfulness and purchase intention. A laboratory experiment using realistic three dimensional packaging provided evidence that significant interactions exist between the three independent variables. Restrained eaters were found to be more influenced by health seals and claims than unrestrained eaters. For restrained eaters, seals on categorically unhealthy products and claims on categorically healthy products were most effective at enhancing healthfulness perceptions. Unrestrained eaters were largely unaffected by seals and claims, regardless of the food category. Further analyses to determine possible mediating effects of health perception on purchase intention revealed that health perception fully mediated a two-way interaction between food category and restraint status, and purchase intention. The results provide guidance to food manufacturers entering the competitive health-foods landscape, as well as to policy makers seeking to regulate the use of seals and claims.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University