Skip to main content

Package rage and battle cap are fast becoming regular phrases within households across Britain, with consumers becoming infuriated and frustrations rise with the difficulty of accessing their products due to poorly designed packaging.

A ball with an angry face on it.

A survey conducted by Which? that included more than 2000 consumers found that four out of ten people have hurt themselves trying to access their products, these products include a range of items, from toothbrushes and scissors to crumpets. This is due to the equipment needed to open the packaging, the tools range from scissors and knives to hammers. These results come as a concern when related to our ever-ageing population. As the population continues to rise, more and more people over 60 will be living alone and could be dealing with medical conditions that prevent them from opening items due to a reduction in their movement or strength. Packaging design needs to consider the changing demographics of consumers and ensure it is user-friendly for all.

The packaging industry continually faces contradictions, with consumers and governments consistently push for a reduction in the use of plastic and demand packaging that is tamper resistant, as well as being easy to open and visually appealing, all competing for priorities.

By February 2019, all packaging solutions for medicine are required to feature child-safety and tamper resistant elements which could result in the medicines being even harder to open. With a rise of the population now having arthritis or deteriorating eyesight, these features may not come as a welcomed addition. With many items, including medicine, foods and general household products isolating consumers with a reduction in their physical strength or mobility. Accessibility of a product is vital, yet the packaging industry must still consider that although the item must be easy to access, it must also be child-resistant.

Companies are necessary to used plastic packaging in the food industry, to ensure perishable items stay fresh for longer, remain tamper-free as well as reduce the volume of packaging needed. For example, the wrapping of a cucumber in polyolefin shrink film. But, has the balance between ease of access and the packaging required reached an equilibrium? How can wrap rage and battle cap be avoided?

The survey conducted by Which? concludes that to avoid the everyday battle, clear instructions of how the item should be opened should be included on the packaging. A step by step guide of the best way to access the product, which consumers can follow to increase the speed of access as well as the ease should be visible. Rather than instructions being written in the small print, on the back of the product, they should be easy to find and most importantly, easy to follow. Editor of Which? Richard Headland said: “With one in four people telling us they regularly need help to open everyday products, bad packaging is not only frustrating, but it is causing injuries too”.

If this article has made you reconsider your current packaging solution, why not browse our range of wraps, pouches and films, as well as shrink wrapping machinery. The materials are easy to access once on the product and can be branded, as well as include instructions for opening. Helping your product avoid instilling packaging rage in your consumers!