Consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental friendliness, in addition to product quality. However, widely used technologies are not yet capable of producing packaging that combines the highest level of image quality with the highest level of environmental friendliness. As a result, print buyers are forced to trade-off image quality for increased environmental friendliness. The amount of image quality that a print buyer is willing to trade-off for a given improvement in environmental friendliness is unknown. This is a problem for printers and print suppliers who are attempting to develop products without access to this potentially critical empirical design information. This research addressed the problem of missing design information by conducting a conjoint analysis experiment. From this experiment, the researcher determined the relative value of carbon footprint, VOC emissions, gamut size, and image resolution to print buyers in the folding carton packaging market. In addition, this research determined that print buyers cluster into groups based on their trade-off behaviors. A sample of 11 industry professionals who either are or have been print buyers participated in the experiment. The results of the experiment were statistically significant at the 95% confidence level for all 11 print buyers. The conjoint analysis resulted in a multiple regression model that predicted print buyer preferences based on four attributes of the printed package being offered: carbon footprint, VOC emission, gamut size, and image resolution. R2 varied by participants but ranged between 73% and 97%. Gamut size was the most important of the four attributes examined. On average, gamut size was responsible for 40% of the print buyers' preference. Carbon footprint and VOC emissions both contributed approximately 25% of the print buyers' preference. Finally, image resolution was the least important attribute contributing approximately 10% of the print buyers' preference for an offering. When print buyers were grouped based on their weighting of the relative value of environmental impact and image quality, two favored environmental benefit, four favored image quality, and five weighted image quality and environmental impact approximately equally.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Package printing--Environmental aspects; Package printing--Quality control
Department, Program, or Center
School of Media Sciences (CIAS)
Mayteekriengkrai, Rattana, "Packaging print buyer willingness to trade off image quality for environmental benefits" (2013). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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