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Senior Friendly Packaging : Survey Results

Hello Packaging Friends

Recently while doing some online research, I happen to come across an interesting discussion on a study done by ‘Chemnitz University of Technology’ to understand difficulties faced by senior citizens when it comes to opening various types of packaging.

In the study, senior citizens of both sexes aged from 57 to 77 were invited in the test. Without any time limit, they were asked to open a total of 35 different types of product packaging varying from medication to foodstuffs to cosmetics.

Results were an eye opener that shows failing strength of elderly people in terms of motor functions and vision, leading to difficulty in opening majority of the packs – cardboard boxes, cartons, plastic bags, flexible pouches and so on.

To understand the scenario for Indian / Global companies on how critical they think about this issue, we conducted a survey wherein packaging professionals across the globe have participated and the results we got were quite surprising.

Many people think senior friendly feature is important for pharma sector mainly but is this actual scenario? In modern world where joint family’s system is slowly diminishing, elderly people are staying away from their children and hence has to handle all household chores on their own. This involves dealing with every kind of product packaging from food stuffs, laundry detergents, floor cleaner, pesticides, equipment and appliances and so on. This gives a valid reason to consider senior friendly feature all kind of products/consumer goods industry.

All companies dealing with FMCG products should have this as a critical feature but result shows only 56% companies agrees considering this while designing a pack. Few companies consider implementing senior friendly feature mainly due to regulatory requirements or company policies, not because this gives value addition to consumers.

Another interesting analysis that came from the survey is “labelling”. Many think that this is not a parameter to make a pack senior friendly but actually this is one of the critical parameters. Clear labels in terms of instruction on usage, opening, nutrition, serving etc also defines a senior convenience feature for a pack

Another outcome of the survey shows lack of awareness on various options in making a pack senior friendly and innovations in packaging.

The detailed analysis and data can be downloaded in form of the report - http://www.packagingconnections.com/sites/default/files/senior_friendly_packaging_report.pdf

We look forward to your valuable inputs on the same to understand the scenario in micro aspects as well.

Thanks

Chhavi Goel (Research & Business Consulting)

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