The Look Of Luxury

Stuart Pritchard June 12, 2017




RICHARD BURHOUSE, Commercial Director at API, discusses the use of foils and laminates for luxury products…

There has never been a better time to incorporate foils, laminates and holographic effects into luxury packaging. Technological advances have placed a range of metallic colours and screen effects at designers’ fingertips that their predecessors could only have dreamed about. These advances are allowing them to create ever more sophisticated pack solutions, taking foil packaging to the next level. For products that require strong shelf-appeal, such as luxury gifts, wine labels, cosmetics, and personal care goods, metallic embellishments are increasingly essential.

Similarly, the creative development of holographic and other highly visual optical packaging solutions is generating even more opportunity for brand impact. Through decorative holography services, companies such as API are offering brands their specialised knowledge in the application of holography and 3D Designs. As an integral part of the product pack design, these services can provide brands with an all-important extra dimension.


The resulting packs play a significant role in whether consumers buy the product, as the recent research by Package InSight shows. The

Eye-tracking chocolate

study, which took place in the CUshop laboratory at Clemson University, found that adding foils and laminates to premium chocolate packaging attracts consumer attention and drives purchase intent. By uncovering the subconscious decision processes that go on in shoppers’ minds, its results offer brand owners valuable new insights into consumer preferences when purchasing consumer goods.

In the study, 70 participants wore calibrated eye-tracking glasses while selecting products within a representative shopping environment. The glasses allowed the Package InSight team to track participants’ eye movements up to 50 times per second, revealing the nonconscious signals that shed light on why they selected certain offerings ahead of others. Some products were foil stamped or laminated; others had no metallic embellishments. Heat maps showed both how often the participants had looked at each product, and also for how long they had done so.

The results showed that – for both the Swiss and Belgian varieties of luxury chocolate included in the study – participants looked at the embellished stimuli packs significantly more often than they did the unembellished control packs. Furthermore, participants looked at both types of embellished pack for significantly longer than they did the unembellished packs. In other words, foiled and laminated packs drew shoppers’ attention more often – and then held it for longer – than packs that did not feature such enhancements.


Most significantly of all, the researchers at Package InSight discovered a strong correlation between fixation-time and product selection: the longer participants looked at the pack, the more likely they were to pick it up from the shelf and purchase it.

After the quantitative segment of the study, there followed a qualitative section in which the participants were asked to comment on their decisions. Their responses demonstrated a strong preference for the enhanced versions of both the Swiss and Belgian chocolate packs. Representative feedback included: “The foil samples look higher quality” and “It gives it a more premium look and shows their attention to detail”.

Some brands can be discouraged by the extra cost involved in foil stamping, but as the results of the Package InSight study demonstrate, the money is apt to be more than regained through sales. The research makes it clear that foil significantly boosts the fortunes of luxury chocolate products – and by extension, other luxury products – within a retail store environment.


Unseen is unsold, as all brand owners know. In a world where 70% of purchasing decisions are made in-store, an eye-catching pack often makes all the difference. The recent research by Package InSight provides quantitative data on the impact of foils in delivering brand and shelf impact. It proves that, when applied intelligently, foils and laminates significantly boost the appeal of luxury products in a retail store environment – and lead to more sales. This is a finding that could have a great impact on the future of luxury packaging.