Creating a better product experience in organic cereal packaging design

Zhang, Lei
Major Professor
Sunghyun Kang
Committee Member
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Art and Design

Organic foods have been in great demand lately, and more and more people tend to buy them to enjoy their healthy benefits. However, packages of organic food are not distinguishable from those of conventional food as a unique identity of the food that contains higher values. In grocery stores, most organic foods are placed with conventional foods together on shelves and present little attractions to consumers. As a result, they are often overlooked by organic food buyers due to designs similar to those of conventional food packages. Therefore, it is necessary to redesign organic food packages and explore design elements that can help the enhance product experience of organic foods.

With that purpose, the current study focuses on an exploration of both materials and designs in organic cereal packaging design and tries to add emotional and sensory elements to the design by applying different materials, color palettes, and imagery styles. The study adopts Kansei Engineering methodology, a method that incorporates people's sensory and emotional responses into product design and services, in the design of new prototypes of organic cereal packages; the methodology is also used to measure people's sensory and emotional responses to those prototypes through a list of Kansei words that are related to people's sensory and psychological feelings.

Results of the study indicate that different physical materials used in packaging elicited different sensory and emotional responses from study participants, and color variations in packaging also led to differences in participants' emotional and sensory responses to organic food prototypes. However, different virtual materials and imagery styles (computer mockups) used in virtual packages didn't produce a significant difference in eliciting emotional and sensory responses from the participants.