Conceptualising the management of packaging within new product development: a grounded investigation in the UK fast moving consumer goods industry

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to: (i) contribute to existing models of new product development (NPD), and provide new understanding of how a new product’s packaging is managed and integrated into the NPD process of fast moving consumer goods firms; and (ii) build on prior research suggesting that firms lack a pipeline of new packaging innovations by uncovering the factors that influence this pipeline issue.

Design/methodology/approach: A grounded theory methodology was adopted. Research was conducted through a total of thirty-seven interviews with key informants in the UK FMCG industry, packaging industry, and associated firms.

Findings: Three distinct levels of packaging development were revealed: skin deep, body modification, and format change. The emphasis within many firms is primarily on changes to packaging at the level of the label (skin deep) or aesthetic design (body modification), whilst technological and format changes are overlooked. The factors that contribute to the level at which development is undertaken are identified.

Implications: Existing literature has largely examined packaging at the level of skin deep and body modification. The development of new packaging technology has been overlooked. Our propositions guide the way forward for further research. For firms, the development of new formats and genuine packaging innovation may be being overlooked. There is a need for them to re-examine their activities to ensure that they are addressing all three levels.

Originality/value: This theory building study has generated a new typology which, alongside the unique framework, reveals the factors influencing the level of emphasis within firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2009-2032
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Volume48
Issue number11/12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2014

Keywords

  • Packaging
  • new product development
  • absorptive capacity
  • FMCG
  • food and drinks

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