Shoppers are prepared to pay seven times more for biscuits with premium packaging than identical ones in everyday packs, a study has revealed.

The study, commissioned by trade show Packaging Innovations London, saw six items tested to determine how packaging affects perceived price and quality of the product.

Identical biscuits, wine, perfume, t-shirts and chocolate were presented to 100 consumers, each in basic and luxurious packaging.

Biscuits saw the biggest difference of any of the products in price and taste. Consumers claimed they would pay £8.39 for a pack of chocolate chip cookies, which normally retail at £1.59, when presented in a premium canister pack. But they would only pay £1.31 for the same biscuits in an everyday pack. They even claimed the ‘premium’ ones tasted 51% better.

“While we expected to see the perceived cost of items increase when people thought it came in higher-end packaging, what we didn’t expect to see was how the packaging actually appeared to affect the senses,” said James Drake-Brockman, divisional director, Easyfairs Packaging portfolio.

“Identical biscuits, wine, chocolates seemed to taste better, and people even liked the smell of a perfume more, if they thought it came in a more premium pack.”

Participants went as far to say that, when buying a gift, packaging was more important than the contents. Fifty-nine per cent would buy a lower quality product in better looking packaging than the other way around.