Packaging Research

Many of us, such as the four writers whose words you will read, have worked in the fi eld of product, concept, and package research for many years. But how does someone in business go about the task of assessing, optimizing, or perhaps even commenting on a package? For product work, there is no doubt that science and scientifi c methods play a part. You need only look at the large business and scientifi c literature that deals with making better products, and you will quickly realize just how serious research can be in the quest for better foods and drinks. Try doing the same search, but this time for “ concepts ” or blueprints about how to make a food (What should it contain? How should the advertising be phrased?), and you will fi nd far less. Now do the same search, but this time search for package design. Certainly you will fi nd articles, not many books, and even some science. Yet, to a great degree, what you will fi nd are methods to evaluate packages but really not very much of a well - developed science. As scientists, business people, writers, and researchers working with people, we noticed that when it came to package design, much of what we were told was in the form of “ best - practices, ” albeit with little justifi cation. That is, there were no really solid papers in the scientifi c literature, and also no solid sources of data itself to guide us as to what to do. We were on somewhat shaky grounds. We looked around, but the only guidance that seemed to come straight to us was informal, fairly discursive treatments of packages in the so - called “ trade magazine ” world. There was no science and certainly no good body of knowledge to speak of.


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