Exploring generational perceptions of pro-environmental packaging advantages: A case study of the packaging innovation of ‘compressed’ deodorants in Germany

Besier, Susanna (2015) Exploring generational perceptions of pro-environmental packaging advantages: A case study of the packaging innovation of ‘compressed’ deodorants in Germany. Masters thesis, Griffith College.


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Over the past decades, public concerns about the environment have kept increasing. Conscious consumption has therefor become more and more important to consumers. Progressively, sustainable product advantages have become the decisive reason for buying a good. However, the actual influence of sustainable packaging innovation on consumers’ buyer’s decision has hardly been studied so far. Therefore, this study aims to find out, if the pro-environmental advantage of a sustainably packaged personal care product can be the distinctive factor in a consumer’s buying decision. The special case of Unilever’s ‘compressed’ deodorants was used in order to examine consumers’ motivators and barriers when buying a pro-environmental good. An additional key aim of the study was to explore, whether this newly packaged deodorant is seen as a trustworthy measure to promote sustainability or as being a greenwashing ‘portion-shrink’. A single case study design with two embedded units of different age generations were used to conduct 22 qualitative interviews. The respondents belonged either to the Babyboomer generation or the Generation Y, also known as Millennials. The data revealed that the main influencing factors in selecting a sustainable packaged deodorant were not pro-environmental advantages of the product’s packaging, but aspects such as quality, convenience and price. Relating to the sub-question, whether the ‘compressed’ deodorant could be seen as a credible measure to promote sustainability, it was found out that consumers needed additional information in order to be able to evaluate the correctness of the statement claimed ‘same effect – smaller size’. If sufficient information is not provided, the smaller packaging cannot function as a more reliable measure to promote sustainability. It seems that although the packaging innovation of ‘compressed’ deodorants could be seen as a proper measure to support sustainable consumption, consumers seem not yet ready to choose pro-environmental product advantages in favour of convenience or quality aspects.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sustainable, package innovation, consumer buying behaviour, personal care
Divisions: Graduate Business School > Master of Science in International Business
Depositing User: Ms Dimphne Ni Bhraonain
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2016 16:17
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 16:17
URI: http://go.griffith.ie/id/eprint/35

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