Package interaction is intrinsic to the consumer experience. Your package is the consumers first and last impression of your product. Their experience in retail and at home influences product choice & sales. Have you looked at what constitutes a positive package experience for your package portfolio?
Packaging drives an emotive response. It’s easy to identify our least favourite package, we think about issues with function, information or appearance. Have you assessed how your packages can be used to evoke a positive mental image? In a world of discerning consumers where word of mouth and social media are very powerful, positive package interactions are a must
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 this 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 useg. resealing mechanisms that retain freshness.
Do you have sustainability metrics for your packages e.g. product-to-package ratio (a challenging metric due to the competing forces of sustainability and convenience/single use), getting the portion size right (too big and the food spoils before it is all eaten e.g. seniors buying family packs, 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 coming 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 etc. Consumers have an expectation around digital media, food companies are also technology companies 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 & 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 mechanism:
Is it clear where to open the package?
Feel good in use. Easy to carry, hold, pour & serve from.
e.g. 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:
Companies need to ensure product safety/integrity/freshness, whilst achieving ease of opening. Ease of opening is highlighted in report after report as a required feature in packaging. e.g. are the cap & seal a small diameter and a dexterity challenge (especially important for seniors), does your glue allow the seal to come away easily. Have you tested ease of opening across all the age groups you target?
Are you supplying into markets where seal tampering could be an issue, do you have tamper evident seals.
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 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 experience matches the marketing:
e.g. resealable pack, easy lift pull tab. Have you tested the performance of what the marketing portrays?
Download a copy of the Package Interaction Guidelines
Replicate the consumer experience from point of contact to disposal to understand the potential 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.
Explore Package Opportunities /package-opportunities-with-free-video-questionnaire/
Designing a package /designing-a-package-free-checklist/
Brand Agency Brief for labels and artwork /brand-agency-brief-for-labels-artwork-with-free-template/