Consumer Convenience Drives Innovation

We’ve all seen the funny videos of consumers attacking packaging with their teeth in an effort to get at the product inside

Consumer Convenience Drives Innovation

30 June 2016

We’ve all seen the funny videos of consumers attacking packaging with their teeth in an effort to get at the product inside. There is little that is more frustrating than trying to open packaging that seems to have been designed not to be opened - especially when you are in a hurry, which for many of us would be most of the time!


In an increasingly grab-and-go world of on-the-go consumption, consumer convenience features such as easy opening, reclosability, portability and one-handed consumption are very important. At home, cook-less products in packaging that offers less-mess and clean-up are what the consumer wants.


Millennials prefer easy open packaging


Millennials, now the largest generational group in history with 85 million in the U.S., in particular prefer simple, uncomplicated, easy opening packaging.


Since 35% of meals for millennials are really snacks, often consumed on-the go, packaging that makes one-handed consumption easy is important as is reclosability for later consumption.


For older consumers easy open packaging is a necessity


For baby boomers, easy to open and safe packaging is more than a nice-to-have preference. It is a necessity. An estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers are celebrating their 65th birthday each day according to data from the Pew Research Center. This trend is expected to continue for the next 18 years or so with other studies projecting that 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65 by 2030 and that this segment will include about 80 million people by the year 2050.


Packaging can lead to older consumers “feeling powerless and vulnerable,” according to researchers at the University of Portsmouth. The study found that issues with reading labels or opening packages could damage consumers’ sense of self-worth. Other problems included items being difficult to stack or too heavy to carry because of their packaging.


Meeting the consumer's need for convenient packaging


Ways in which food manufacturers can meet the need for convenience-friendly packaging solutions for consumers include:

  • Flexible packaging which is light, easy to carry, and particularly suited for smaller portions and on-the-go consumption.
  • Advanced opening mechanisms such as easy-peel and reclosable lidding films that allow consumers to use just the portion they need and then to reclose the package.
  • Laser perforation and scoring (or pre-cut) that provides easy open tear solutions without compromising barrier capabilities.
  • Cook-in-bags which are an easier, cleaner way to cook food products in the oven or microwave.

 

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