Exploring Indonesian Cultural Symbols for Food Packaging Design – A Comparative Study: Indonesian and Thai Consumers

Conference: The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (KAMC2022)
Title: Exploring Indonesian Cultural Symbols for Food Packaging Design – A Comparative Study: Indonesian and Thai Consumers
Stream: Difference/Identity/Ethnicity
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Dini Wulansari, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
Somying Pongpimol, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
Thanasit Chantaree, Khon Kaen University, Thailand


Globally, the fad of consciously eating healthier and paying more attention to overall health and wellness appears to be driving a cultural shift towards more traditional foods. These are now replacing processed food because of a nutritious and sustainable food supply. In Southeast Asia, Indonesia currently consumes the highest proportion of plant-based foods, besides significant exports to international markets such as Thailand.

However, Indonesia as the food item country of origin is often absent to identify Indonesian culture in the graphic design on the packaging which makes the product unrecognizable as Indonesian food. Thus, the existence of a product in the marketing mixes cannot be separated from the packaging container. Packaging designs are also required, which could feature and contribute to identifying and categorizing, the unique attributes of the products.

This study aims to explore and understand consumer perceptions of a country's cultural identity and the representation of its packaging designs. Regarding traditional foods and focusing on symbols of Indonesian culture, design evaluations were carried out on Indonesian and Thai consumers, using a semantic differential, where the participants were asked to rate a set of perceptions from several samples on a five-point scale, with two opposite ends. The points of all the perceived items were summed up to obtain the symbols of what objects, motifs, and colors could truly represent Indonesia.

Finally, this study's findings also provided a representation that could contribute to developing graphic designs for packaging that use symbols of Indonesian culture as a source of inspiration.

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