Food In Canada

Re-think food packaging for today’s consumer: research

By Food in Canada magazine staff   

Business Operations Food Safety Food Trends Research & Development food packaging

Recent research released at Pack Expo finds that since consumers are often multi-tasking they need to be able to open food packages with one hand

Chicago – Most consumers are now accustomed to multi-tasking. But have food processors caught on?

New market research from the Newberg, Ore.-based InsightFarm has found that when it comes to food packaging, food processors need to think in terms of one hand.

In other words, they need to create packaging that consumers can open with one hand, since many consumers are often using their other hand to hold their phones, a cup of coffee, or even a child. And in some circumstances, says InsightFarm, they are one-armed amputees.

Kelley Styring, principal at InsightFarm, released the research at Pack Expo this week, says


Styring went onto say that food processors need to consider several aspects of packaging design and this is based on her research with one-armed amputees and 248 products tested for degree of difficulty to open and use.

Styring had several suggestions for food processors:

• Think about product packaging that can self-stabilize, rather than needing two hands to do so.
• With liquid and soft products, think about packaging that ensures the contents do not squirt out when the package is squeezed to stabilize it while opening.
• Offer rigidity in some portion of packaging for soft products to ease opening.
• Think about package opening solutions that can be achieved using one’s teeth and one hand.
• Incorporating friction into packaging design can help consumers leverage a product against a surface to manipulate it.
• Bottom dispensing packaging that uses gravity can ease use.
• When using pull-tabs, make sure the ratio of the size of grip tab to the force needed to pull it open ensures ease of use.

At a panel at Pack Expo, Kraft Foods’ packaging research group said that the company has used InsightFarm’s data to develop new packaging options and is already seeking patents on a few of them, reports.

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