MUMBAI: Indian consumers put packaging on a par with the brand when it comes to overall product satisfaction, according to a report which found that packaging is three times more important to consumer satisfaction in developing markets.

A total of 7,665 consumers in ten markets – Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US – were surveyed for the Packaging Matters report from packaging business MeadWestvaco.

While 41% of consumers globally said that packaging was important to overall product satisfaction, that figure leapt to 71% among Indians, the highest of any nationality, the Business Standard reported.

Developed countries were not particularly bothered by this aspect, with Germany (26%), the UK (21%), the US (18%) and Japan (17%) all well below average.

Apart from China (38%) it was emerging nations which responded most to packaging, with India followed by Turkey (70%), Brazil (60%), Russia (43%) and South Africa (43%).

A total of six criteria were applied to achieve an overall product satisfaction rating, including considerations around quality, price, amount, brand, variety and packaging. For Indian consumers the brand itself (75%) was only slightly ahead of the packaging (71%), which had a significant impact on shopping behaviour both in-store and online, and for both for first-time and repeat purchases.

The report noted that around 65% of Indians had tried something new because the packaging had attracted their attention. More than half (55%) had purchased a product again for the same reason while a similar proportion (50%) had switched brands because of negative experiences with new packaging.

Packaging can also lead to more "stickiness" online, the Business Standard said. When shopping online 41% of Indians said that product packaging had led them to do more research on an item, while 39% had written a review than mentioned the packaging.

In addition to these actions, 40% had become brand fans on social networks and 36% had posted something about the product on social media.

Data sourced from Business Standard, MeadWestvaco; additional content by Warc staff