The impact of packaging elements on willingness to pay for packaged potato chips and the mediating effect of perceived healthiness and premiumness

  • Maria Palma de Aguiar (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This dissertation investigates the role of packaging elements in influencing consumer healthiness and premiumness perception of packaged potato chips and its impact on willingness to pay. This study has increased importance in an intensely competitive food retail sector, where more than 70% of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale, making packaging a pivotal factor in shaping purchase decisions (Rettie & Brewer, 2000). Drawing on the extensive literature on the effect of verbal and visual elements on consumer behavior, the study proposes to understand how can packaging design choices increase willingness to pay, to what extent it is possible to communicate a product as premium and as healthy with packaging elements and how can those elements influence consumer perception of the product. To address this problem, a mixed research approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research, was employed. Qualitative research was aggregated through a focus group that guided the creation of stimuli for quantitative research – an online survey. Key findings highlight the significant impact of packaging elements on willingness to pay and the importance of the presence of darker colors and verbal elements in packaging design to increase potential money spent. Dark-colored packaging positions the products as premium in consumers’ minds, and lighter and verbal packages convey perceived healthiness. The research contributes to managerial decision-making by providing insights into enhancing profitability, leveraging margins, and effectively positioning products. It offers valuable knowledge beyond the packaged potato chips category, extending implications for a broader snacking industry.
Date of Award23 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo Romeiro (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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