Moms using infant formula powders prefer scoops that are accessible, round, intuitive and easy to store, according to new research from rigid packaging leader TricorBraun. Infant formula powder consumers also prefer scoops that are appropriately sized for dosing, incorporate dosage indicators and have a grippable handle.
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 infant formula powders, and identify future design opportunities.
“While consumers’ brand selection and purchase decisions are based on the infant formula itself – what’s best for their babies – the packaging features and functionality have a tremendous impact on the consumer’s experience,” said Becky Donner, senior vice president of design and engineering at TricorBraun. “The holy grail is the combination of a formula that meets the individual needs of infant, and a package that delivers a positive, easy and convenient experience. That positive experience drives brand loyalty.”
TricorBraun conducted in-depth, qualitative focus groups with mothers 25 - 40 years old who have at least one child under age one and used infant formula at least eight times in the previous week. Participants were asked open-ended questions regarding their purchase motivators and product perceptions around infant formula powder packaging scoops. Research participants were asked to identify their favorite scoop format and to evaluate the functional appeal of various formats.
Moms Prefer an Accessible, Clean Scoop
TricorBraun tested various scoop solutions. Consumers favored the EZ Scoop because it provides easy scoop accessibility, as well as improved storage and convenient scoop replacement.
Consumers liked the accessibility of the EZ Scoop because “it’s annoying” when you have to dig your hands into the product to retrieve the scoop.
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 to always avoid digging into the product to retrieve the scoop. 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 parents with speed and convenience.
“The right scoop delivers an important value to the infant formula powder consumer,” said Donner. “Moms and Dads digging their hands into the formula to find the scoop, trying to measure the right amount in the middle of the night while baby is hungry, is not only problematic, but unhygienic. An accessible scoop with dosage indicators solves the issue and provides a meaningful feature for infant formula consumers.”
Parents Need A Convenient Solution
The EZ Scoop was recognized as consumers’ preferred scoop solution. However, TricorBraun’s research shows that the ideal solution for parents 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.