Billions of sachets are used every day, but it turns out consumers really don't like them. We conducted a range of surveys with different groups of low-income women consumers in India, the primary buyers of shampoo in sachets but a group rarely, if ever, listened to.
Through a series of group sessions and one-on-one interviews, we explored many aspects of their interaction with sachets – why they use them, where they buy them, what they think of them, what they dislike most about them, and so on.
Some of the findings are obvious. The primary reason to buy a sachet is the cost. You can get them for one rupee (about a penny) and even if you had the cash to buy a bottle, the unit price is substantially higher.
They're also sealed so you know it's the real product without any adulteration.
And they're easy to store and convenient should you ever travel.
That's about it.
On the downside, there is widespread frustration with sachets. They are difficult to open, particularly if you have wet hands, storing any excess is messy, they can be wasteful and the empty sachet causes waste and can clog drains. All up, not ideal. Oh, and they cause plastic waste that all the consumers are aware of but they don't have any alternative.
There are some unexpected insights too. Opening the sachet is a pain point. Most people use their teeth and really dislike the taste of shampoo, while others keep a pair of scissors or pin in the shower. One woman abraded the sachet on a pumice stone that she also used on her body.
All the women strongly favoured using a bottle, seeing it as a greatly upgraded user experience, and this is something we will play to when we launch.