Package interaction is central to the consumer experience.
- Your package is the consumers first and last impression of your product.
- The consumer experience in retail and at home influences product choice and sales.
- Your package drives an emotive response (we can all easily identify our least favourite package)
Have you looked at what constitutes a positive package experience for your package portfolio? In a world of discerning consumers positive package interactions are a must. Read on below.
Here are some package interaction guidelines to consider:
Sustainable Packaging: e.g.
- Packages that can be reused, refilled, recycled or composted.
- No excess packaging.
- Multiuse packages that do not require repackaging at home e.g. cheese & meat often require repackaging at home to retain freshness.
- Easy to get all the product out or the right amount of product out. The last drop in a bottle is very important to consumers and contributes to huge waste in the industry. Do you have a solution for getting all the product out e.g. slippery coatings (food-based) inside bottles.
- Sustainable packages that allow convenient on the go use e.g. resealing mechanisms to retain freshness.
Packaging sustainability metrics are challenging e.g.
- Establishing a product-to-package ratio: -Due to the competing forces of sustainability and convenience/single use, this is challenging.
- Getting the portion size right: Too big and the food spoils before it is all eaten (e.g. seniors looking for smaller portions), too small and you are generating too high a volume of waste.
No safety issues opening or consuming the product e.g.
- Small bottle caps can be a choking hazard for children
- Sharp edges from foil seals (not peeling away completely) can lead to cuts and grazes,
- Broken pull tabs can lead to a consumer using a knife to open a can.
Label print that all consumers can read with ease e.g.
- Is your font size and type legible for all age categories?
- Are your labels uncluttered and easy to understand?
- Are your date codes clear and legible?
Information that assists the consumer to make an informed choice e.g.
- Recognisable ingredients,
- Health & nutrition information in consumer terms, smart labels, emolabels (for children’s products).
Consumers have an expectation around digital media so food companies need to be aware of digital technologies e.g. smart Labels, QR codes, etc.
Information that makes it easy for the consumer to raise issues or complaints:
How you handle complaints shows how committed you are to the consumer and to quality. Have you tested your call centre and complaints process to ensure complaints are being handled properly?
Clear Instructions on use, storage and disposal:
Clear intuitive opening mechanisms e.g. Is it clear where to open the package?
Feel good in use. Easy to carry, hold, pour & serve from:
Is the product comfortable to grip and hold, what hand size has the product been designed for? (are two hands needed to carry/pour).
Seals that all consumers can open & reseal/reclose with ease e.g.
- Are your cap & seal a small diameter and a dexterity challenge? (especially important for seniors)
- Does your glue allow the peel-able seal to come away easily?
- Have you tested ease of opening across all the age groups you target?
- Do you have tamper evident seals? (are you supplying into markets where seal tampering could be an issue)
Companies need to ensure product safety/integrity/freshness, whilst achieving ease of opening. Ease of opening is highlighted in report after report as a necessary feature for quality packaging.
Multiuse seals that reseal with ease and leave no food residue e.g.
- Sauces can leave a residue on caps. Can the amount dispensed and the spills be controlled using a seal under the cap?
- Residue can build up in zip locks and impact seal performance. Have you tested the residue build-up versus the expected number of servings?
- Does the seal keep the product fresh within the stated usage?
If you don’t have an inbuilt solution for multi-use bags, can you provide a branded clip for re-use?
Packages that are easy to store:
As living spaces are getting smaller, easy to store packaging is especially important e.g. in large cities with space constraints, Do your packages stack/store easily?
Validate that the consumer experience matches the marketing e.g. resealable pack, easy lift pull tab and replicate the consumer experience from point of contact to disposal to understand the potential consumer response. Ensure that there are no issues or defects that could negatively affect sales. Retrieve product from retail, representing your markets and channels. Test parameters that could be negatively impacted by supply chain conditions and that could affect sales.
Download your copy of the Package Interaction Guidelines to assess opportunities for your packages and products.