The purpose of this dissertation is to understand what type of potato crisps packaging best communicates the flavour of the product to an audience of Chinese university students in China. In addition, this paper investigates what other factors beyond potato crisps packaging design help influence product choice and willingness to purchase. The secondary research on semiotics, crossmodal association, packaging, consumer behaviour and market overview all informed the questionnaire design. The primary research consisted of an online questionnaire written in Mandarin Chinese that was launched on WeChat using a Chinese survey software. The questionnaire consisted of five sections: demographics, product consumption, product recognition, packaging evaluation, and crossmodal association. In total, 149 students participated from seven different cities in China. Results were analysed using SPSS and interpreted based on the literature review. Widely known flavours, such as spicy, revealed that congruent colours were sufficient to communicate crossmodal associations to the target population. However, most flavours studied were better received when images were also included on packaging. Overall, colour and images work as heuristics and are important packaging elements. The study also reinforced the importance of localisation and flavour diversity for the potato crisps market in China, as well as differences between regions and tier cities. Potential differences were identified among Chinese students compared with the general population, particularly relating to price and country of origin. The study summarised key findings to aid foreign potato crisps brands in entering China and suggested further research in the fields of crossmodal association, semiotics and FMCG packaging.
Key words: FMCG, potato crisps, packaging design, Chinese market, crossmodal associations, semiotics, consumer behaviour, localisation, external cues, colour & image.
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