The consumer's role in the packaging value chain thinking has increased. This paper identifies the basic functions of packaging as well as the importance of the visual and structural elements from the consumer's view. However, it is unclear what packaging experts associate with consumers' packaging interactions. Professionals working in the field are still in the key position of defining directions in the packaging industry. The paper investigates how professionals perceive consumer interactions with packaging, and identifies challenges in consumer-centred packaging development. The research materials were collected from 14 theme interviews with representatives of higher education, packaging research and packaging design agencies. As a result, five narratives and five challenges for consumer-centred packaging development were constructed. The narratives describe the following: (a) the symbiotic product-packaging relationship; (b) the everyday context highlighted in purchase and use situations; (c) how consumers become aware of packages; (d) a fashion system of packaging; and (e) everyday routines and rituals involving packaging. The aims of the paper are to raise the awareness of how professionals perceive consumer interaction with packaging, to provide insight into factors relevant for consumer-centred packaging development in industry and to identify the potential challenges, from the professionals' view, for adopting a consumer-centred model.
- narrative analysis
- qualitative research