PRODUCT PACKAGING AS A PREDICTIVE FACTOR OF CONSUMER PATRONAGE OF TOOTHPASTE IN ADO-EKITI, NIGERIA

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INTRODUCTION
There are a few necessities or consumables that consumers of all ages, sex or status cannot do
without such as toothpaste. Consumers are bombarded with too many choices of product
brands to use, one of which is toothpaste. In the Nigeria oral care market, such brands as
colgate, closeup, darbur, pepsodent, macleans, sensodyne, anchors, mymy, and meswak,
exist; these all come in different variants, sizes, colours, flavours, and tube shapes. According
to Nayyar (2012) in this modern era, packaging has developed into one of the most
sophisticated, holistic and influential examples for those who design it and for those people
who are considered intermediates for selling products from manufacturers to the end
consumers. Arens (1996) defined packaging as the container for a product encompassing the
physical appearance of the container and including the design, colour, shape, labelling and
materials used. Packaging today has grown in importance in the face of stiff competition clamouring for the consumer’s attention. This is buttressed by Underwood, Klein and Burke
(2001) who said packaging is also utilized as a marketing tool to get the consumer’s attention,
to promote and convey messages about the products attributes to consumers whilst still on the
shelf or at the point of sale.
Packaging is considered as the fifth p of marketing after product, price, promotion and place
(Schrawet and Kundu, 2007 in Nayyar, 2012; Ladipo and Rahim, 2013); and as the fifth ‘p’
of marketing, Kotler (2000) cited in Nayyar (2012) defined packaging as the activities of
designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product. This means that companies
must monitor and change product packaging on a regular basis to ensure its continuous and
increasing appeal to target audiences (Ladipo and Rahim, 2013; Oladele, 2012). Packaging
design is therefore, an important issue in the growing use of packaging as a marketing tool
for self-service, since 73% of products are sold on a self-service bases at the point of sale
(Silayoi and Speece, 2004). Packaging plays a major role when products are purchased; after
all, it is the first thing seen before making purchase choices (Kamaladevi, 2010).
Williams (1982) identified pertinent questions to qualify good packaging (i) does the
packaging hold enough quantity of the product to satisfy the needs of the consumers? (ii)
does the packaging communicate quality? (iii) does the packaging design, colour, size and
shape appeal to the eye? Koirala (2005) cited in Kamaladevi (2010) asserted that good
packaging also provide information based on truth, it must be economical, attractive,
convenient, protective and transparent. Jugger (1999) submitted that the right packaging
solution is different for each brand; what is important is that it works when placed next to the
competing brand on the shelf.
If not a
ll, most buying decisions are based in information sought by consumers either actively or
passively which includes product’s name, brand name, manufacturers name, country of
origin, graphics and nutritional information (Peters-Texera and Badric, 2007, Lifu, 2012;
Nayyar, 2012; Oladele, 2011). Demographic factors such as such as age, sex, marital status,
family size, occupation, in come level, educational background, religion and tribe can also
influence consumer decisions as they reflect their predisposition and impact on the prospects
of the marketer in the fast moving consumer goods market (FMCG) where toothpaste and
other oral care products fall into.
While a number of studies have been conducted on the impact of general product packaging
(Lifu, 2012; Ladipo and Rahim, 2013; Nayyar, 2012; Kumar and Bishnoi, 2011; Underwood
et al, 2001; Oladele and Akeke, 2012) very few have been product specific on toothpaste
consumption in Ado-Ekiti metropolis as an emerging and fast growing town in south western
Nigeria. Specifically, this study attempts to answer the following research questions: what
packaging information has significant relationship with consumer patronage of tooth paste in
Ado-Ekiti, metropolis?; and what packaging factor has significant influence on consumer
patronage of toothpaste in Ado-Ekiti metropolis?

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