The impact of visual elements of package on consumers purchase intent and the mediating role of perceived risk An analysis on food packaged products

The impact of visual elements of package on consumers purchase intent and the mediating role of perceived risk
An analysis on food packaged products.

Dissertation by
Maria Inês Fernandes Paz Antunes dos Santos
Student Number: 152116222
Dissertation written under the supervision of
Prof. Paulo Romeiro
Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the MSc in Management with Specialization in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at CATÓLICA-LISBON School of Business & Economics
June 2018AbstractTitleThe impact of visual elements of package on consumers purchase intent and the mediating role of perceived risk – An analysis on food packaged products.
AuthorMaria Inês Fernandes Paz Antunes dos Santos
Nowadays, packaging has been acknowledged to be an important strategic marketing tool, especially at the purchasing moment, and can be considered as one of the most relevant factors influencing consumers’ buying behaviour of packaged food products. The visual design of packaging transmits symbolic meaning to consumers, hereby impacting how the product is evaluated by them.
The purpose of this study is to understand the effect of visual elements of packaging; specifically, the effect of incorporating an image of the product or a transparent window on the packaging of the product on purchase intent, giving a special attention to the role of perceived risk.
This dissertation is particularly important regarding low involvement FMCG products, such as packaged salmon and packaged pizza, where packaging is strongly linked with the product in the eyes of the consumer at the point of purchase.
The methodology used for this investigation includes both primary and secondary data analysis; quantitative data was collected through an online survey.

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Results obtained with this study suggest that food packaged products purchase intent is explained by the presence of transparency and product imagery on package as well as by the risk (financial, psychological and functional) associated with the each food category. In addition, according to the dimension of perceived risk, it plays a key role in mediating some of these relationships.

ResumoTítulo
O impacto dos elementos visuais da embalagem na intenção de compra e o papel mediador do risco associado à compra – Uma análise a produtos alimentares embalados.

AutorMaria Inês Fernandes Paz Antunes dos Santos
Hoje em dia, a embalagem dos produtos é considerada um elemento estratégico fundamental de marketing, sobretudo no momento da sua aquisição; é por isso um fator decisivo no comportamento dos consumidores na sua escolha de produtos alimentares embalados.

O design da embalagem confere um significado simbólico aos consumidores desencadeando impacto visual no momento da avaliação do produto que pretendem adquirir, afetando a sua avaliação do produto.
Com este estudo pretende-se compreender o impacto dos elementos visuais da embalagem, sobretudo a incorporação da imagem do produto ou de uma janela transparente permitindo, deste modo, a visualização imediata do produto através da embalagem no momento da aquisição por parte dos consumidores. Mais se deseja salientar a importância do papel do risco (financeiro, psicológico e funcional) associado pelo consumidor nesse processo.

De modo a estudar impacto dos elementos visuais da embalagem e na intenção de compra dos consumidores de produtos embalados, a seguinte dissertação concentra-se em produtos alimentícios, tais como salmão e pizza embalados.
Os métodos utilizados para esta investigação incluem dados primários e dados secundários, envolvendo a realização de um questionário online.
Os resultados obtidos demonstram que a intenção de compra de produtos alimentares embalados é explicada pela presença de elementos transparentes ou imagem do produto na embalagem; e pelo risco associado à compra de cada tipo de produto. Dependendo do tipo de risco associado à compra, este desempenha um efeito mediador em algumas dessas relações.

AcknowledgementsI would firstly like to express my gratitude to my mother, who have constantly supported me through my academic journey and provided me with the best opportunities and the finest education in order to achieve my professional and personal goals. Her optimism and boundless encouragement were truly important and decisive to complete this Dissertation, the final stage of my Master’s degree.
I would like to show my appreciation to my supervisor, Professor Paulo Romeiro, for all his patience, insightful advice, and valuable feedback throughout the entire process.
Also, very important for me is to express my sincere appreciation to my friend and talented designer, Matilde Pinheiro de Melo for helping me with the design of the packages presented on my survey.
I am also very grateful to Ana Rita Azevedo, my manager at Colgate-Palmolive, and my co-workers, who have demonstrated enormous support and constant availability for sharing their valuable knowledge with me.

Last but not least, I am very grateful to my amazing friends, who support me unconditionally.

Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Abstract PAGEREF _Toc515415012 h iTitle PAGEREF _Toc515415013 h iAuthor PAGEREF _Toc515415014 h iResumo PAGEREF _Toc515415015 h iiTítulo PAGEREF _Toc515415016 h iiAutor PAGEREF _Toc515415017 h iiAcknowledgements PAGEREF _Toc515415018 h iiiTable of Figures PAGEREF _Toc515415019 h viList of Abbreviations and Acronyms PAGEREF _Toc515415020 h viiChapter 1. Introduction PAGEREF _Toc515415021 h 11.1 Background PAGEREF _Toc515415022 h 11.2 Problem Statement PAGEREF _Toc515415023 h 21.2.1 Research Questions PAGEREF _Toc515415024 h 21.3 Academic and Managerial Relevance of Research PAGEREF _Toc515415025 h 31.4 Research methods PAGEREF _Toc515415026 h 41.5 Dissertation outline PAGEREF _Toc515415027 h 5Chapter 2. Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc515415028 h 62.1 Packaging Relevance PAGEREF _Toc515415029 h 62.2 The role of Packaging PAGEREF _Toc515415030 h 72.3 Elements of Packaging PAGEREF _Toc515415031 h 82.3.1 Visual Elements of Package PAGEREF _Toc515415032 h 92.4 Purchase Intent PAGEREF _Toc515415033 h 112.5. Perceived Purchase Risk PAGEREF _Toc515415034 h 122.5.1 Perceived functional risk PAGEREF _Toc515415035 h 132.5.2 Perceived financial risk PAGEREF _Toc515415036 h 142.5.3 Perceived psychological risk PAGEREF _Toc515415037 h 142.5.4 Perceived Consequences of Purchase mistake PAGEREF _Toc515415038 h 14Chapter 3. Methodology PAGEREF _Toc515415039 h 173.1 Review of Conceptual Model and Research Approach PAGEREF _Toc515415040 h 173.2 Primary Data PAGEREF _Toc515415041 h 183.2.1 Online Survey PAGEREF _Toc515415042 h 183.4 Data Analysis PAGEREF _Toc515415043 h 21Chapter 4. Results and Discussion PAGEREF _Toc515415044 h 224.1 Sample Characterization PAGEREF _Toc515415045 h 224.2 Measures Reliability PAGEREF _Toc515415046 h 254.3 Results from the Hypothesis Test PAGEREF _Toc515415047 h 264.3.1 Descriptive Statistics PAGEREF _Toc515415048 h 264.3.2 The effect of visual elements variables over packaged products purchase intent PAGEREF _Toc515415049 h 304.3.3 The effects of visual elements of package variables on perceived functional risk PAGEREF _Toc515415050 h 334.3.4 The effects of the different types of perceived risk on packaged products purchase intent PAGEREF _Toc515415051 h 354.3.3 The mediating effect of risk on the relationship between visual elements of package and purchase intent PAGEREF _Toc515415052 h 37Chapter 5. Conclusions and Limitations PAGEREF _Toc515415053 h 415.1 Main Findings and Conclusions PAGEREF _Toc515415054 h 415.1.1 The effect of visual elements of package on consumer’s purchase intent PAGEREF _Toc515415055 h 415.1.2 The mediating role of perceived risk PAGEREF _Toc515415056 h 435.2 Academic/ Managerial Implications PAGEREF _Toc515415057 h 445.3 Limitations and Further Research PAGEREF _Toc515415058 h 45Chapter 6. References PAGEREF _Toc515415059 h 46Chapter 7. Appendices PAGEREF _Toc515415060 h 507.1 Appendix I: Online Survey Guideline PAGEREF _Toc515415061 h 507.2 Appendix II: SPSS Output – Demographic PAGEREF _Toc515415062 h 567.3 Appendix 3 – SPSS Output – Measure variables PAGEREF _Toc515415063 h 597.3 Appendix 4 – SPSS Output – Inferential Statistics Hypothesis PAGEREF _Toc515415064 h 62

Table of Figures TOC h z c “Figure” Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of proposed hypotheses. PAGEREF _Toc515449205 h 16Figure 2: Questionnaire Design. PAGEREF _Toc515449206 h 20Figure 3: Proposed constructs, number of scale items and relevant literature sources. PAGEREF _Toc515449207 h 20Figure 4: Survey respondents per scenario. PAGEREF _Toc515449208 h 23Figure 5: Survey respondents about the frequency of purchase per food category. PAGEREF _Toc515449209 h 23Figure 6: Demographic characteristics of the sample. PAGEREF _Toc515449210 h 24Figure 7: Demographic characteristics of the sample (Age). PAGEREF _Toc515449211 h 25Figure 8: Survey items’ reliabilities. PAGEREF _Toc515449212 h 26Figure 9: Descriptive statistics for Visual Elements of packaging. PAGEREF _Toc515449213 h 27Figure 10: Descriptive statistics for each dimension of Perceived Financial Risk. PAGEREF _Toc515449214 h 27Figure 11: Descriptive statistics for each dimension of Perceived Functional Risk. PAGEREF _Toc515449215 h 28Figure 12: Descriptive statistics for each dimension of Perceived Psychological Risk. PAGEREF _Toc515449216 h 29Figure 13: Descriptive statistics for Purchase Intent. PAGEREF _Toc515449217 h 29Figure 14: Variable Relationship for Visual Elements of Package (H1). PAGEREF _Toc515449218 h 30Figure 15: Variable Relationship for each product category and each packaging design (H1a and H1b). PAGEREF _Toc515449219 h 32Figure 16: Variable relationship for Total Sample (H3a e H3b). PAGEREF _Toc515449220 h 34Figure 17: Variable Relationship for total Sample (H4a, H4b and H4c). PAGEREF _Toc515449221 h 35Figure 18: The mediating effect of perceived functional risk in the relationship between visual elements of package and purchase intent. PAGEREF _Toc515449222 h 38Figure 19: The mediating effect of perceived financial risk in the relationship between visual elements of package and purchase intent. PAGEREF _Toc515449223 h 39Figure 20: The mediating effect of perceived psychological risk in the relationship between visual elements of package and purchase intent. PAGEREF _Toc515449224 h 40Figure 21: Status of Hypotheses H1. PAGEREF _Toc515449225 h 42Figure 22: Status of Hypothesis H2. PAGEREF _Toc515449226 h 42Figure 23: Status of Hypotheses H3. PAGEREF _Toc515449227 h 43Figure 24: Status of Hypotheses H4. PAGEREF _Toc515449228 h 43

List of Abbreviations and AcronymsDV Dependent Variable
IV Independent Variable
PI Purchase Intent
FMCG Fast Moving Consumer Goods
SPSS Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 
VIF Variance Inflation Factor
PG Package displaying a picture of pizza
PS Pizza’s package with a transparent window
SG Package displaying a picture of salmon
SS Salmon’s package with a transparent window
“See-Through” (variable) Transparent packaging
“Opaque” (variable) Opaque packaging
“Graphs” (variable) Package displaying an image of the product
PRfunc Perceived Functional Risk measure
PRfin Perceived Financial Risk measure
PRpsy Perceived Psychological Risk measure
Multicollinearity term used to describe the case when the intercorrelation of predictor variables is high.

Chapter 1. Introduction1.1 Background
As a result of the changes in consumers’ lifestyle and the growing importance of self-service marketing on a daily basis, companies are increasingly adopting diverse techniques to compete with each other, trying to attract the customers’ attention. Thus, packaging is becoming a primary vehicle of branding and communication ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “DOI” : “10.1108/10610420010316339”, “ISBN” : “10.1108/10610420010316339”, “ISSN” : “1061-0421”, “PMID” : “5492578”, “abstract” : “The verbal and visual components of package design”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Rettie”, “given” : “Ruth”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Brewer”, “given” : “Carol”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “Journal of Product & Brand Management”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “1”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2000” }, “page” : “56-70”, “title” : “The verbal and visual components of package design”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “9” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=d1622987-0ff0-461d-ac8f-ba8db36df3af” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Rettie & Brewer, 2000)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Rettie & Brewer, 2000)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Rettie & Brewer, 2000)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 9 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Rettie & Brewer, 2000).
Packaging is defined as “the container for a product – encompassing the physical appearance of the container and including the design, colour, shape, labelling and materials used” ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “ISBN” : “9194793174”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Agariya”, “given” : “Arun Kumar”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Johari”, “given” : “Ankur”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Sharma”, “given” : “Hitesh K”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Chandraul”, “given” : “Udit N S”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Singh”, “given” : “Deepali”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “2”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2012” }, “page” : “1-13”, “title” : “The Role of Packaging in Brand Communication”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “3” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=83771487-6eab-4ebd-89f7-a2de47a92dcb” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Agariya, Johari, Sharma, Chandraul, & Singh, 2012)”, “manualFormatting” : “(Agariya et al.,2012)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Agariya, Johari, Sharma, Chandraul, & Singh, 2012)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Agariya, Johari, Sharma, Chandraul, & Singh, 2012)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 9 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Agariya et al.,2012). Following the same path, ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “abstract” : “This paper introduces research in progress aimed at developing empirically-based guidelines to assist managers in selecting wine packaging design elements that evoke strategically valued consumer impressions. A series of studies identifies salient packaging design elements and links those elements to product-category specific brand personality impressions. Ultimately, by more accurately matching packaging design elements to package content, buyer disconfirmation of expectations after initial purchase will be minimized, stimulating repeat sales.”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Malkewitz”, “given” : “Keven”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “3rd International Wine Business Research Conference”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “July”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2006” }, “page” : “6-7”, “title” : “Packaging Design As Resource for the Construction of Brand Identity”, “type” : “article-journal” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=2c25897b-942f-489f-9b6a-fe760c12f5a3” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Malkewitz, 2006)”, “manualFormatting” : “Malkewitz (2006)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Malkewitz, 2006)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Malkewitz, 2006)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 9 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }Malkewitz (2006)’s defined package design as the different elements chosen and blended into a holistic design in to achieve a specific sensory effect.
Besides the basic function of protecting the product, packaging also has the fundamental function of disclosing the package’s content ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “DOI” : “10.5539/ibr.v8n5p66”, “ISSN” : “1913-9012”, “abstract” : “The objective of this research was to analyze the academic literature focusing on how product packaging influences consumer behavior through the use of a bibliometric study. To accomplish this, we analyzed 111 articles, published from 1982 to 2014, indexed in the Web of Science database maintained by Thomson Reuters (formerly the ISI Web of Knowledge). For the analysis, we used descriptive statistics, bibliometric analyses, and networks to explore characteristics of the articles that related to their authors, journals, evolution, keywords, and research topics. Published manuscripts had a network of dispersed ownership without a central author; most works were published in the United States. Although most of the articles were from the categories of Business & Economics and Food Science & Technology, there is a growing trend in the amount of research and its expansion into subject areas such as chemistry, nutrition, engineering, and more recently, environmental studies, behavioral science, and public policy. An article by Wansink (1996) was the most-cited out of the survey of 111 articles, as well as the most-cited reference for these items. We conclude that the study of packaging and its influence on consumer behavior is a multidisciplinary subject that is highly relevant to purchase decisions, conscious consumption, food preservation, health problems, contamination, storage and transport, obesity and smoking, and sustainability issues.”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Vieira”, “given” : “Kelly Carvalho”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Alcantara”, “given” : “Valderu00ed De Castro”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “do”, “family” : “Prado”, “given” : “Josu00e9 Willer”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Pinto”, “given” : “Cintia Loos”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “de”, “family” : “Rezende”, “given” : “Daniel Carvalho”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “International Business Research”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “5”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2015” }, “page” : “66-80”, “title” : “How Does Packaging Influence Consumer Behavior? A Multidisciplinary Bibliometric Study”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “8” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=83397cd5-22a1-4652-ba8f-42e9362e26da” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Vieira, Alcantara, Prado, Pinto, & Rezende, 2015)”, “manualFormatting” : “(Vieira et al., 2015)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Vieira, Alcantara, Prado, Pinto, & Rezende, 2015)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Vieira, Alcantara, Prado, Pinto, & Rezende, 2015)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 9 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Vieira et al., 2015) by providing adequate and detailed information to the consumers about the product. Furthermore, this marketing tool is also used as a valuable technique to gain competitive advantage and it can have an impact on consumer purchasing decisions. As a matter of fact, around three-quarters of food and drink purchase decisions are made at the point of sale, ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “DOI” : “10.1016/j.foodqual.2016.11.010”, “ISSN” : “09503293”, “abstract” : “Images of food constitute salient visual stimuli in the mind of the consumer. They are capable of promoting both feelings of hunger and the desire for food. It should not, then, come as any surprise that many product packages present the food contained within as a salient aspect of their visual design. Conventionally, this has been achieved primarily by the use of attractive visual imagery showing the product on the outside of the packaging. Nowadays, however, developments in packaging are increasingly enabling designers to add transparent elements, thus allowing consumers to directly see the product before purchase. Yet relatively little is known about the effectiveness of product imagery as compared with transparent packaging. In this review, we address the various ways in which seeing (images of) food influences the consumer. The implications for packaging designs which include: (a) images of food, and (b) transparent elements, are investigated. Guidelines are also provided for designers and brands on the ways in which to take advantage of these effects of being able to see the food.”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Simmonds”, “given” : “Gregory”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Spence”, “given” : “Charles”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “Food Quality and Preference”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2017” }, “page” : “340-351”, “publisher” : “Elsevier Ltd”, “title” : “Thinking inside the box: How seeing products on, or through, the packaging influences consumer perceptions and purchase behaviour”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “62” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=43d3ca10-1ce0-4626-b6ec-a7adf79221ec” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Simmonds & Spence, 2017)”, “manualFormatting” : “Simmonds & Spence (2017”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Simmonds & Spence, 2017)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Simmonds & Spence, 2017)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 9 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }Simmonds & Spence (2017) by Connolly & Davison (1996). Furthermore, 90% of consumers make a purchase decision only after examining the front of the package, and 85% of consumers make a purchase without having picked up a substitute product (Urbany, Dickson, & Kalapurakal, 1996).
As stated by Rundh (2005), packaging can capture consumers’ attention and influence their perceptions about the particular product contained in it. On the other hand, packaging is an important marketing tool for differentiation as it helps consumers to identify and distinguish a particular product from a wide range of similar products ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “DOI” : “10.1108/10610420110410531”, “ISBN” : “10610421”, “ISSN” : “1061-0421”, “PMID” : “220599584”, “abstract” : “This article provides a theoretical framework for understanding the communicative effects of product imagery on attention to the brand, specifically, the attentional effects of incorporating a picture or illustration of the product on the packaging of the product. Empirical results from a virtual reality simulation show that package pictures increase shoppersu2019 attention to the brand. However this effect is contingent, occurring only for low familiarity brands (private-label brands) within product categories that offer a relatively high level of experiential benefits. These results suggest that package pictures may be especially useful for private label brands and/or lesser tier national brands whose strategic objectives are to improve consumersu2019 perceptions of the brand and enter the consideration set.”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Underwood”, “given” : “Robert L.”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Klein”, “given” : “Noreen M.”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Burke”, “given” : “Raymond R.”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “Journal of Product & Brand Management”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “7”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2001” }, “page” : “403-422”, “title” : “Packaging communication: attentional effects of product imagery”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “10” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=af7cd8bc-2094-47cd-84ae-846a96061d8b” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Underwood, Klein, & Burke, 2001)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Underwood, Klein, & Burke, 2001)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Underwood, Klein, & Burke, 2001)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 9 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Underwood, Klein, ; Burke, 2001), and it can impart visual presence and uniqueness to the product ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Silayoi”, “given” : “Pinya”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Speece”, “given” : “Mark”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “British Food Journal”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “8”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2004” }, “page” : “607-628”, “title” : “Packaging and purchase decisions Introduction : packaging at the point of sale The packaged food products market in Thailand”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “106” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=319fc176-bf50-421f-aed5-2b060c543692” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(P. Silayoi & Speece, 2004)”, “manualFormatting” : “(Silayoi and Speece, 2004)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(P. Silayoi & Speece, 2004)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(P. Silayoi & Speece, 2004)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 9 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Silayoi and Speece, 2004). Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that packaging can have both a positive impact and a negative impact on the product, as it can either improve the product’s image, or it can be a cause of product’s failure as it is the first contact between the product and the consumer in the store.

However, consumers perceive the act of purchasing as a risky endeavour, and this risk can affect their likelihood of purchase (Wood and Sheer, 1996). When consumers aim to buy a product or a service, they frequently hesitate before making the final purchase decision as they do not have the certainty that the actual results will not differ from their expectations (Roselius, 1971), thus the consumer behaviour is motivated to reduce the perceived risk ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “DOI” : “10.1177/1077727X00283002”, “ISBN” : “1077-727X”, “ISSN” : “15523934”, “abstract” : “In a two-part study, the amount and types of information available in television-shopping segments selling apparel were examined. In Phase 1, a content analysis of 60 segments selling apparel was conducted. In Phase 2, using an experimental format, a convenience sample of 128 middle-aged women (M = 46 years) viewed a 6-minute television-shopping segment selling apparel and assessed perceived risk, perceived amount of information available in the segment, and purchase intentions, and they answered some open-ended questions about their information-searching activities. Taken together, results of Phases 1 and 2 revealed that when making apparel purchases, participants needed product and customer service information; however, in some segments, that information was never available or was available in less than half the segments coded. Results also revealed that the amount of information perceived from a television-shopping segment selling apparel was negatively related to perceived risk and positively related to purchase intent.”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Kim”, “given” : “Minjeong”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Lennon”, “given” : “Sharron J.”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “3”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2000” }, “page” : “301-331”, “title” : “Television shopping for apparel in the United States: Effects of perceived amount of information on perceived risks and purchase intentions”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “28” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=7db9b3ff-6b16-4945-8693-4c050b7c1603” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Kim & Lennon, 2000)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Kim & Lennon, 2000)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Kim & Lennon, 2000)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 10 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Kim ; Lennon, 2000). Therefore, insights on consumer’s risk perception will enable marketers to understand, anticipate and satisfy consumer’s needs and desires, thereby increasing their purchase intentions through optimized packaging design.

According to ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “DOI” : “10.1016/j.jcps.2010.08.003”, “ISBN” : “10577408”, “ISSN” : “10577408”, “abstract” : “We present a summary of the state of the aesthetics literature in consumer psychology, introduce the articles that constitute this Aesthetics Special Issue, and raise a number of research questions that are viable areas for future investigation in the domain of aesthetics. The Special Issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology on Aesthetics was conceived. The articles include a variety of topics within aesthetics including multisensory aesthetic experiences, conceptual processing of aesthetics, aesthetic design preferences, and individual differences in evaluating aesthetics. The research methods employed include observations and interviews as well as lab and quasi experiments. Next, we introduce the articles that comprise the Special Issue on Aesthetics. We encourage you to pursue the study of aesthetics in consumer psychology and to see the Journal of Consumer Psychology as an outlet both welcoming and receptive to new and exciting developments in aesthetics. We sincerely hope that the readers of this Aesthetics Special Issue will continue to generate important, interesting, and innovative research in the domain of aesthetics in consumer psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)”, “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Patrick”, “given” : “Vanessa M.”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” }, { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Peracchio”, “given” : “Laura A.”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “container-title” : “Journal of Consumer Psychology”, “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issue” : “4”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2010” }, “page” : “393-397”, “title” : “”Curating” the JCP special issue on aesthetics in consumer psychology: An introduction to the aesthetics issue”, “type” : “article-journal”, “volume” : “20” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=96580f57-4df3-4332-b317-b068c63cfc8d” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Patrick & Peracchio, 2010)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Patrick & Peracchio, 2010)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Patrick & Peracchio, 2010)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 10 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Patrick ; Peracchio, 2010) despite the increasing awareness of the importance of product packaging, theories to understand how consumers react to the appearance of a product or package are relatively recent. In order to maximize the effectiveness of packaging at the point of purchase, studies about packaging and all its possible elements and their impact on consumer’s product perceptions and consequently purchase decision should be a crucial and relevant issue.

1.2 Problem StatementThe aim of this paper is to examine the impact of visual elements of package on consumer purchase intentions, with particular emphasis on the following variables: the effect of incorporating visual product imagery (product pictures) and transparent elements on the package, and how these elements affect consumers’ perceptions about the product, consequently impacting consumers’ purchase intent.
This study will focus on packaged food goods, comparing two categories with distinct levels of perceived risk: packaged pizza and packaged salmon.
In order to have a clearer understanding of the problem statement addressed on this dissertation, its specification could be the following: Is what you see what you get?1.2.1 Research QuestionsThis dissertation provides a theoretical framework to address these packaging doubts and it studies some contingencies under which package design are more or less effective: the presence of an image of the product or the presence of a transparent window on package with exposure of the contained product.
Here below are presented the research questions that have been formulated in order to gain a better understanding of the issue and accomplish the purpose of the research:
RQ1: How do visual elements of package influence consumers’ purchase intention?
RQ2: Does the inclusion of a picture of the product on the package contribute to lower purchase intentions than the inclusion of a transparent element on the package?
RQ3: How visual elements of package influences the uncertainty perceived by the consumers at the point of purchase?
RQ4: Does perceived purchase risk impact purchase intent?
RQ4: Does perceived risk mediate the relationship between visual elements of package and purchase intent?
1.3 Academic and Managerial Relevance of ResearchThe topic of this dissertation came up while I was grocery shopping at the supermarket. As per common knowledge, it is recognized that consumers may not think very deeply about brands before they walk into the store to buy a product. Moreover, at the point of purchase consumers are exposed to many similar products on the shelf. Thus, package is a key factor in marketing communications, especially at the point of purchase. Findings suggest that 73% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale and manufacturers are aware of this. In addition, 90% of these purchase decisions are made based on the aesthetics package design elements ADDIN CSL_CITATION { “citationItems” : { “id” : “ITEM-1”, “itemData” : { “author” : { “dropping-particle” : “”, “family” : “Keizer”, “given” : “J”, “non-dropping-particle” : “”, “parse-names” : false, “suffix” : “” } , “id” : “ITEM-1”, “issued” : { “date-parts” : “2016” }, “title” : “Faculty of Behavioral Management and Social Sciences The visual influence of transparent product packages”, “type” : “article-journal” }, “uris” : “http://www.mendeley.com/documents/?uuid=cbaca5b0-77ce-4128-8766-4cb1b6a06b51” } , “mendeley” : { “formattedCitation” : “(Keizer, 2016)”, “plainTextFormattedCitation” : “(Keizer, 2016)”, “previouslyFormattedCitation” : “(Keizer, 2016)” }, “properties” : { “noteIndex” : 11 }, “schema” : “https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json” }(Keizer, 2016).

In academic terms, the topic of this study constitutes a further investigation of what has been studied in literature and can be considered academically relevant in the deepening of the knowledge of the relationship between the variables relative to visual elements of package, perceived risk and purchase intent. Despite the fact that this topic has been widely studied in previous research projects, the study adds focuses further and expands the research on the effectiveness of product imagery versus transparent window on package in consumer’s purchase intent. The findings highlight the importance of including a mediator variable, the perceived risk and how it mediates these relationships across different food product categories.
Regarding managerial relevance, one of the key challenges for packaging marketers and designers is to create sustainable, well acceptable packaging. Thus, companies can benefit from the results and conclusions that dissertation aims to achieve as they can be used towards a company better use of its marketing resources by develop appropriate and attractive packaging solutions that are able to perform in traditional channels and thus increase the number of sales of packaged food products.
1.4 Research methods
In order to answer the research questions in an appropriate way, both primary and secondary data were used in this master thesis. Secondary data have been collected through a detailed research on previous studies, books, academic journals and articles in order to gather an in-depth background knowledge about packaging, with a special focus on: the evolution of packaging, the visual elements of packaging, consumer drivers of packaged goods’ purchase intent and how perceived risk mediates the relationship between visual elements of package and consumers buying behaviour.
Regarding primary data, an online survey was done and distributed online to quantitatively assess and understand the causal relationships between the variables in study.

The survey was analysed using multiple linear regressions, mediation analysis, frequencies analysis and reliability analysis. The main statistical analysis performed were Mediation models, in order to study the effect of the different types perceived risk considered in this study as a mediator of the relationship between visual elements of package and purchase intent.
All the questionnaire’s responses were analysed using IBM’s SPSS statistical software version 25.0. The data will be treated quantitatively applying frequencies analysis, measures of central tendency (arithmetic mean and median), measures of dispersion or variability (minimum and maximum values, mean and standard deviation), the coefficient of Cronbach’s Alpha and statistical tests (ANOVA test and Sobel test) and linear multiple regressions.
1.5 Dissertation outline
This dissertation will present a total of five chapters. The following chapter contains the literature review. It provides with an in-depth understanding of the hypothesis that this dissertation proposes to answer and is supported by previous studies. It will explain how each relevant variable have an impact on consumers’ purchase intent for packaged goods.

The third chapter comprises the research methodology which will clarify and described the methods used to collect and analyse the data and how each statistical test will be applied to this data.
The fourth chapter, Results Analysis, presents an analysis of the results obtained from the collected data and verify the legitimacy of each hypothesis proposed on this study.

The final chapter contemplates the conclusions of the study, as well as its limitations and some recommendations for future researches in this area of study.