OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Athletes and other health conscious consumers using protein powders prefer scoops that are accessible, intuitive and appropriately sized for dosing, according to new research from rigid packaging leader TricorBraun. Protein powder consumers also prefer scoops that incorporate dosage indicators, have a grippable handle and can be used in conjunction with a dispensing closure.
TricorBraun conducted qualitative research to understand consumer behavior, preferences, needs and experiences with different scoop designs. Insights gathered directly from consumers about what they prefer and how they interact and use scoops enables TricorBraun's packaging consultants to understand which scoop solution is preferred for protein powders, and identify future design opportunities.
"Protein powder consumers' product choice is driven by their specific health and wellness needs," said Becky Donner, senior vice president of marketing, design and engineering at TricorBraun. "While they are brand loyal, packaging features and functionality have a major impact on the protein powder consumer's experience. The ultimate goal is a product that meets the needs of an on-the-go consumer, and a package that delivers a positive, easy and convenient experience. THAT is what builds brand loyalty."
TricorBraun conducted in-depth, qualitative focus groups with men and women 20 – 40 years old who have purchased protein powder in the last month and used three or more times in the previous week. Participants were asked open-ended questions regarding their purchase motivators and product perceptions around protein powder packaging scoops. Research participants were asked to identify their favorite scoop format and to evaluate the functional appeal of various formats.
Consumer Prefer an Accessible Scoop with Dosage Indicators
TricorBraun tested various scoop solutions. Protein powder consumers favored the EZ Scoop because it provides easy scoop accessibility, intuitive scoop storage as well as a modern design and variable dosing indicators.
Scoop accessibility is important to protein powder consumers. The EZ Scoop is appealing because consumers "don't like digging for my scoop when I first open the packaging" and "sometimes (the scoop) is all the way at the bottom so I have to make sure I wash my hands."
Many scoop options require consumers to dig into the product to search for the scoop, and TricorBraun's qualitative research shows that consumers' preference is always to avoid digging into the product to retrieve the scoop. If the scoop is inaccessible, consumers said it "gets your hands dirty," "gets the powder in your nails and makes a mess on your kitchen counter."
Alternatives that allow the scoop to be stored, after retrieval, in the lid of the closure, are problematic because most consumers were concerned the scoop would fall out. And, in cases where the engagement between the scoop and storage fitment was strengthened, the scoop became difficult to retrieve and replace, increasing consumers' frustration.
The EZ Scoop is stored in the neck of the bottle, eliminating the risk of the scoop falling out. And, because it can be stored in any direction, the EZ Scoop is easy to remove and easy to replace, providing consumers with speed and convenience.
"The right scoop delivers an important value to the protein powder consumer," said Donner. "We know that protein powder consumers often use the product on-the-go, and digging into the powder supplement to find the scoop, trying to measure the right amount in the car or on the train, between work and the gym, is inconvenient and unhygienic. An accessible scoop with dosage indicators solves the issue and provides a meaningful feature for protein powder consumers."
Health Conscious Consumers Need A Convenient Solution
The EZ Scoop was recognized as consumers' preferred scoop solution. However, TricorBraun's research shows that the ideal solution for protein powder consumers is not only the best scoop placement solution, but the best scoop placement paired with an easy to remove liner (such as BAP) and a dispensing closure. Packaging consultants at TricorBraun reference these findings to better navigate the available packaging options and identify those solutions that work best for the end user and the brand owner.
"We know that for the best consumer experience, packaging needs to reflect an understanding of consumer behavior, so research is central to our design process," said Donner. "Understanding the gaps between actual and desired functionality allows us to incorporate these insights into future packaging designs that are relevant to consumers' lives. As brand owners evaluate different packaging options, we can source the right solutions, develop custom solutions or integrate these for a smarter packaging solution that delights the consumer and drives brand growth."
About TricorBraun Design & Engineering Group
TricorBraun Design & Engineering Group is a business unit of TricorBraun, one of North America's leading providers of rigid packaging. Our team's primary mission is to design, engineer and manage the development, production and commercialization of custom packaging solutions for personal care, cosmetics, healthcare, food and beverage, industrial household chemical and animal health products. It is supported by TricorBraun's more than 40 offices globally, holding one of the largest inventories of rigid packaging components worldwide. For more information about TricorBraun Design & Engineering Group, contact Charmaine Laine, Marketing Communications Manager, at email@example.com or 630-645-1208.
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