Packaging in Ghana: Challenges in the Packaging Design and Production Chain

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Over the years manufacturers in Ghana have been using different types of packages for the sale of their products on the local market. The problem of poor packaging of locally made products took a centre stage as most of the exported products to the international market could not be sold because they were poorly packaged. Much efforts have been made by the various stakeholders in the packaging and export sector ever since to solve the poor packaging of the locally made products. In spite of all these efforts the problem still persists even though it is not as it used to be at the early stages. Therefore, this research studies the Packaging Design and the Production chain in the Ghanaian packaging industry. It aims at identifying the challenges and proposing solutions to the constraints inherent in the packaging design and production chain in the local packaging industry. Customer satisfaction is now of prime importance to every modern product manufacturer. The product must give some form of satisfaction to the customer and since the product and its packaging go hand in hand, the packaging should also give satisfaction to the customer. Customer satisfaction in the packaging can be achieved by getting customers’ input for the design of the packaging. Kano’s Theory of Customer Satisfaction has been proven to offer the easiest way of getting the different customer requirements in a product. This research also tests the feasibility of using the Kano’s Theory of Customer Satisfaction in determining customer quality requirements for packaging concept and development. The researcher finally proposes solutions to the identified challenges in the packaging design and production chain which would help improve the quality of local products packaging, especially food products packaging. It is believed that an improvement in the packaging design and production chain would help solve some of the inherent problems in the Ghanaian packaging sector and possibly bring the problem of poor packaging to the minimum level. The research began with the study of related literature; this gave the researcher information about existing studies done in the subject area and to justify the research topic for the study. The purposes and the new marketing roles of packaging and labelling were considered in the review. Printing equipment and methods employed in packaging design and production were also reviewed. The researcher employed the qualitative method of research in this study. Personal interviews with selected personnel in the various packaging subsectors were conducted in the nation’s two major metropolises, namely: Accra and Kumasi, where the big companies, shops and more of the customers are located. The data gathered were assembled, analysed and interpreted. Out of it conclusions were drawn and recommendations made which would help improve the local design and production of packages for modern competitive markets. The conduct of the research has unearthed some of the problems and challenges in the packaging design and production subsector in the Ghanaian packaging industry such as poor pack designs, poor prints, lack of experts in packaging structural design, poor adherence and enforcement of packaging quality standards, the use of obsolete packaging machinery, to mention but a few. Proposed solutions to the problems identified in the study include the use of Concept Testing Methodologies, the use of Jigs in Manual Labelling, the use of Press Settings Recorders, and specific areas where capacity building programmes have to be focused on. The researcher believes that by employing the solutions provided would help address most of the challenges in the local packaging industry.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi,in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (ART EDUCATION.