Market Research For Packaging 

Looking at practicality and aesthetics in store and at home

When looking at opportunities to increase M&S Food market share, there are many factors to consider. Packaging is an important one of these considerations and there is an aim within M&S to package and sell fruit in a way that will encourage incidental shopping from occasional customers, to create desirability and loyalty within future markets whilst honouring the current top-line consumers.

M&S felt it needed to better understand how its consumers respond to packaging that is already in place.

M&S contacted us to look at conducting market research on M&S fresh fruit, and dried fruit and nut packaging. The research was to include looking at brand awareness from the packaging, packaging for brand hierarchy in addition to packaging design and consumer preferences. It was also to consider packaging preferences for franchise stores.

We felt that in order to get in-depth and meaningful feedback on such a wide variety of fruit packaging the best approach would be to use focus groups. We put together a proposal to M&S for three large focus groups to take place, each containing people in different demographics:

  • Over 60’s
  • Working People
  • Families

Each focus group lasted two hours and was filmed. As we wanted all participants to be free to say what they honestly thought we led each session with a collection of open prompts designed to get honest and thoughtful opinions. Each group was led with the same set of prompts.

The information gathered in the three focus groups resulted in a huge amount of information on consumer preferences. The comments also enabled us to make suggestions for new packaging concepts for a number of the fruit lines.

We put together a full written report full of the comments we received, along with our analysis and strategy recommendations. Our market research team presented the results to M&S.

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