Women drawn to personalised food products

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Women are more likely to buy food targeted at their gender than men
Women are more likely to buy food targeted at their gender than men

Related tags Coca-cola

Women are more than four times as likely to purchase food and drink products with personalised or gender-specific packaging as men, according to a study of over 500 marketing and packaging professionals.

According to the poll – conducted by event organiser easyFairs – 43% of respondents said women favoured branded personality packaging. A total of 37% said women were more likely to be attracted to gender-specific packaging compared with just 10% who suggested males.

Alison Church, event director, at easyFairs, claimed there was “no denying”​ that gender specific packaging – such as ‘Yorkie – it’s not for girls’; ‘McCoy’s – man crisps’ and ‘Lambrini girls just want to have fun’ – had increased brand awareness and sales.


“Brand personalities are a set of values with which consumers identify,” ​she added. “Many brands will work hard to attract a specific gender group, as it’s a tempting way to differentiate them.”

‘Pink for Girls’ and ‘Blue for Boys’ had often been associated with packaging, Church claimed, and 40% of respondents believed stereotyped packaging was just responding to what boys and girls preferred.

Of those surveyed, 29% believed a company would lose sales if they adopted gender neutral packaging, 28% thought gender specific packaging was a smart marketing move, and over 39% have considered integrating pack gender bias as a way of improving sales.

Despite a sign that gender specific packaging pays off, 33% stated that an increase in gender-neutral packaging was certainly on the cards.


“The problem comes when the packaging plays on stereotypes; we all know that towards the end of last year, after customer complaints, Marks & Spencer agreed to make its toy packaging gender neutral by spring 2014, and they weren’t the only retail chain to do this,” ​said Church.

“Most brand managers work hard to ensure their packaging catches the shopper’s eye whoever the target market is, irrespective of their gender.”

Last year, Coca-Cola Enterprises printed over 1bn packs of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero with 150 of the most popular names in the country – ranging from Aaron to Zoe.

Caroline Cater, operational marketing director for CCE, said at the time: “It’s fantastic that we can really personalise the product for them. We’re issuing the invite for people to connect and as part of that we want the public to have fun finding the names of their friends and loved ones on our products, and taking the time to share a coke with them.”

Meanwhile, easyFairs will be holding a two-day packaging innovations event on September 30 and October 1 2014 in London.

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