The fact that it's a FMCG (competing against others) makes the packaging all the more important.
With something like cereal, shelved along with a hundred other cereals, packaging is the ONE chance that the company has to tell you that:
a) it tastes good (even the blandest cereals are shown with bright white milk splashing, maybe some colorful fresh fruit, etc.)
b) it's healthy (even "Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs" will have a burst proclaiming "12 essential vitamins and minerals," or "made with whole grain.")
c) It's a good deal. ("Family size!" or "Value Pack!")
d) It will make you and your family happy--there is almost always either a picture or a paragraph about "starting the day right," or "your family will love the taste and the 'wholesome goodness' of Flakes cereal."
Compare your typical brand-name cereal package with a plain-package store brand. Which do you think sells more?
Consumers respond to packaging--it's the extension of TV and other advertising. In the store, the jazzy packaging reminds you of the feel-good commercial you saw last night.
In FMCG, advertising and packaging are everything. That's why companies spend so much on them!
Hope this helps.
Matt in (further south) New York