The perils of packaging for ageing consumers

Of 500 people surveyed in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, 42 per cent said they had cut themselves trying to open packaging, and 14 per cent said they had broken or chipped their teeth trying to rip open packaging. Arthritis Australia is calling on the federal government to evaluate the health and safety impact of packaging that is hard to open. Whether it’s wrestling with ”clamshell” wrapping or vacuum-sealed jars, consumers are all too frequently confronted by products whose packaging renders them unopenable.packaging-620x349

This article in the Sydney Morning Herald says the scheme has tested more than 200 products using a rating scale where +8 means 95 per cent of the population can easily open the packaging, while -8 means that less than 60 per cent can safely open it.

The three worst offenders are clamshell packages, toys and jars.

According to Arthritis Australia”Accessibility has a profound impact on how consumers interact with packaging and affects what they buy, ‘Making these packaging changes opens up markets, rather than eliminating parts of them.

The Australian Packaging Covenant set up a hotline two years ago for consumers to formally complain about their packaging woes.

Resistance is evident in a statement from Packaging Council of Australia saying the fear of theft and tampering were serious concerns for retailers and manufacturers.

Within hours of publication, the article had generated over 70 comments, sometimes heart rending and passionate, indicating that age-friendly packaging is indeed a hot topic that marketers need to get right.