As new research reveals just how much product packaging can influence shoppers’ purchase decisions, there’s a multi-million euro marketing opportunity that brands are missing – and it’s sitting on the supermarket shelf.

158599-sk_whitepaper-cover[1]Tests by Shelf Viewer, a unique online eye-tracking system offered by one of the world’s leading packaging companies, Smurfit Kappa,  has shown that branded secondary packaging is noticed by 76% more shoppers. The technology, which analyses 22,000 supermarket shelves worldwide, also discovered that up to 40% of a product viewed on shelf can be made up of secondary packaging.

According to a Smurfit Kappa white paper report – ‘Marketing on the shelf – exactly how in control are you?’ – three quarters of shoppers still don’t decide on what to buy until they are standing in the supermarket aisle. Grabbing shopper attention is a crucial factor in influencing purchase choice, and secondary on the shelf packaging can help brands do exactly that.

Yet it’s currently under-utilised, despite the scale of the opportunity. Based on the average size of a supermarket in Europe and the cost of a typical 6-sheet in-store poster ad, secondary packaging equates to €424,320 of additional marketing per store every year. Across the whole of Europe this equates to a multi-million euro brand channel.

Brands need to take advantage of untapped marketing opportunities instore

Arco Berkenbosch, VP of Marketing, Research and Development at Smurfit Kappa, explained that “in a more complex retail world where marketers have to work even harder to compete for shopper attention, this represents a sizeable opportunity. Yet, it largely remains one of the most under-utilised parts of the marketing mix and one which still rarely makes it onto the priority list of most brand directors. In reality, it is one of the last areas in-store that offers new marketing opportunities at the point-of-purchase.”

To help organisations create new marketing solutions that make the most of the brand and its secondary packaging, Smurfit Kappa uses marketing expertise and insights that enable brand owners to test and understand the impression they’re making on shoppers.

By visualising the product on a virtual supermarket shelf and collating eye-tracking results via webcam, it is now possible to validate the effectiveness of different packaging designs, offering brand owners a flexible environment to prove the impact of different shopper marketing strategies before they are created and brought to shelf.


“Implemented properly, marketing on the shelf would be completely integrated into a brand’s wider marketing activities, with a clear brief based on an integrated, well-defined shopper marketing strategy. Ownership and responsibility would be held at brand marketing level, with marketing on the shelf, to the shopper as well as to the consumer, considered at the very outset of the brand journey,” Mr Berkenbosch added.

“The reality is that the vision of the future is here now. From insights to measurement, Smurfit Kappa can do in weeks what used to take brands months, including all the testing brand owners need”

To find out more download the white paper at

Smurfit Kappa

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