Some 42 per cent of marketing and packaging professionals think products with gender cues on them increase sales, a new report finds.

According to, the research from easyFairs shows that although 29 per cent believe gender-neutral packaging would lead to a decline in sales, it seems a change could be on the cards for the industry. A third of marketers say packaging not specifically aimed at girls nor boys will become more popular with product creators. This is because of a campaign called ‘Let Toys be Toys’, which is aiming to remove gender labels and stereotypes from product packaging.

Alison Church, event director at easyFairs, says certain brands want to target specific audiences and use gender cues on their packaging to do this.

“The problem comes when the packaging plays on stereotypes; we all know that towards the end of last year, after customer complaints, Marks & Spencer agreed to make its toy packaging gender neutral by spring 2014 and they weren’t the only retail chain to do this,” she explains.

However, she adds that the majority of brand managers don’t focus on gender and instead concentrate on creating packaging which is eye-catching to its target audience.

The research also shows that personalised and gender-specific packaging has the biggest effect on women. Some 43 per cent of marketers say women prefer personalised packaging and 37 per cent of girls are more likely to choose products which are gender-specific. In comparison, just ten per cent of boys do the same, reports


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