Products showing they are ‘sustainable’ with simple, emotive designs are most likely to win over shoppers, new research claims.

Research by marketing experts The Big Picture reveals most people would reject a scientific, rational design even if it had the best green credentials.

Interviews were carried out with customers for a range of fmcg clients such as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser. The research also featured Big Spectra’s Attitude brand, which scored highly for its powerful use of cute penguins and other animals to get across its environmental message in an appealing way. Packs in the coffee and laundry sectors with images of people or animals benefiting from the product’s sustainability were seen as ‘greenest’.

Consumers also judged packs by what they perceived as excessive or unnecessary packaging using materials such as plastic, which they see as less recyclable, regardless of whether a product had a recyclefriendly logo or similar.

“Consumers seem to have been turned off by the dominant culture of topdown, finger-wagging messages and seem to screen out logos and rational information,” said Suranee Abeysuriya, The Big Picture director who developed the research