Packaging – the gender trap

Women are more than three times as likely to be susceptible to packaging gimmicks and on-pack promotions than men, according to new research by easyFairs, organisers of Packaging Innovations London 2013.

The company surveyed over 500 marketing and packaging professionals who are responsible for the packaging deployed by many of the world's most successful brands.  According to 77% of these packaging professionals, the people most likely to be influenced by new packaging concepts and on-pack promotions are females.

Women aged between 20 and 30 are the most easily targeted group; with 29% saying this group is most likely to be drawn by a packaging gimmick, whereas only 16% nominate men in this age range.  In addition, the marketers and packaging decision-makers studied suggest that the gender divide is even stronger among teenagers; 27% of marketers say that, as a group, teenage girls aged 13 to 19 are most attracted to novel packaging; in stark contrast just 9% suggest teenage boys.

As you move down the age range the level of difference is smaller, but it is still there; 4% nominate girls under 13 as the group most affected by a novel pack or pack promotion, whereas 3% believe it is boys of this age who are the most easily influenced by a pack.

The power of novelty packs overall seems to decline among older aged consumers of either gender – but, even so, more than 8% believe women aged 31 to 50 are most susceptible to gimmicks, whereas only 4% nominate men in this age range.

The research was conducted on behalf of Packaging Innovations London 2013, which takes place at the Business Design Centre on 1 & 2 October.  The show, co-located with Luxury Packaging and the Brand & Design Village, provides a showcase for thousands of new materials, packaging ideas, techniques and technologies.

So does this research suggest women are more susceptible than men and that the show's aisles will be packed with female orientated packaging?  Not necessarily, according to Alison Church, Event Director, from show organiser easyFairs.

"Many brands will work hard to attract the female purchaser because in households they are often the key decision-maker, and that could be influencing the findings. However most brand managers will work hard to ensure their packaging catches the eye of any shopper who is in their target market, irrespective of their age or gender."

Church continues, "Plus there are plenty of men who are drawn to a pack or promotion.  For instance when you combine the figures you can see that over a quarter of marketers believe males aged 13 to 30 are the groups most susceptible to packaging concepts and gimmicks.  They're not going to overlook these lucrative groups.  That's why, at the show we expect to see every kind of new concept on show – no matter what niche or group someone is targeting, there will be a packaging idea to grab them."

Packaging Innovations London at the Business Design Centre will include a host of show features including inspirational learnShop seminars.

To book a stand, contact: Marc Benoit +44 (0) 20 8843 8821

To visit for free register at


Packaging Innovations London 2013, incorporating Luxury Packaging, will be taking place on 1 & 2 October 2013 at the Business Design Centre, London, UK.

The 2014 Packaging Innovations event will take place on 26 & 27 February 2014 in Halls 9 & 10 at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK, incorporating:

  • Packaging Innovations
  • Ecopack
  • Contract Pack
  • Packtech
  • Print Innovations
  • Labelling Innovations
  • Converting Innovations


Packaging Innovations 2013
27 & 28 November 2013, Netherlands, Amsterdam
Venue: Taets Art Gallery,
The Netherlands

Packaging Innovations 201422 & 23 January 2014
Venue: Hamburg Messe und Congress

9 & 10 April 2014, Poland, Warszawa
Venue: Warsaw International Expocentre EXPO XXI, Hall no 1
12/14 Pradzynskiego Street, 01-222 Warsaw


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