Packaging as a Vehicle for Promoting Made-In-Ghana Products

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November, 2010
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In Ghana, many products turn to be poorly labelled in terms of concept and beauty, i.e. colour, typography, photography, illustration, layout etc. Also, it is extremely impossible to identify purely Made-in-Ghana products; given their packaging do not reflect Ghanaian culture or our way of life. These have affected the competitiveness of many Ghanaian products both on the local and international market. The low patronage of Made-in-Ghana products, therefore, can be attributed to the lack of effective and efficient packaging. Hence, the purpose of this thesis is to provide a better understanding of how packaging can be used as a medium to whip up and sustain local interest in Made-in-Ghana products. The underlying principle of the study is to bring out to the general public issues on good packaging that reflect the culture and lifestyle of its potential consumers in terms of colour attractiveness and symbolic identity culminating in the positive impact in the patronage of product which will consequently be manifested through the volume sale. The main objectives of this research are to: analyse the relationship between packaging and sales trend; examine consumer perceptions of packaging of Made-in-Ghana products; identify the reasons for the rejection of Made-in-Ghana products by the local consumers; identify the role of culture in increasing sales trend of local products; and examine the laws for packaging in Ghana. This research was carried out using Kumasi as a case study. A number of research methodologies were used in gathering data including field survey using a semi-structured questionnaire and observations. Key informant interviews were conducted with institutions and associations who are influential in the area of local packaging. A sample of 400 consumers and 40 shop owners constituted the population interviewed to elicit information on their perceptions about the packaging of Made-in- Ghana products and suggestions for incorporating, aspects of local culture for easy identification. the study revealed that good packaging promoted the product and gave a vivid description of the product, thereby justifying the price and ultimately leads to increase in sales. Also, the packaging of a product influenced the purchasing decisions of about 35% of the consumers while the need for the product influenced 34.4% of consumers. Another finding was that majority of Ghanaian consumers (30%) think that the packaging of local products are mostly overcrowded while 25% are of the view that the designs are not attractive with the same percentage saying that information provided are inadequate. Also, it was revealed that there is a labelling law LI 1541 which was passed in 1992. However, its implementation is weak. It is recommended that the packaging of any local product should be properly done to attract and sustain local consumption and that there should be a strict implementation of the law. Also, good packaging should be the guiding principles for packaging designers.
A thesis 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 (African Art and Culture).