Packaging rage rising

According to the Melbourne Sun-Herald, particularly older people are struggling to open grocery items that are becoming more childproof, tamper-proof and sealed tightly to keep in freshness. Apparently even the sheer quantity of packaging frustrates consumers, especially the trend for more items to be individually wrapped.

Frustration with packaging is not limited to these shores, a recent UK survey for instance found 71 per cent of over-50s had injured themselves trying to get into a grocery product.

Gavin Wiliams, chief executive of the Packaging Council of Australia says manufacturers were aware of the frustrations of hard-to-open goods. “As the population ages, these issues are becoming more and more important”.

The need for extra packaging is clear, as food was being packed in smaller portions, and the single serve option is booming. This was because of increasingly smaller families and the demand for easy-to-cook products.

However Williams says packaging was kept to a minimum, because unnecessary wrapping would price an item out of the market. In fact the PCA now gives awards for products that are easy to open. One of the more recent winners was Golden Circle, which had developed a fruit tin, with a ring-pull foil lid.

Another successful invention was a mayonnaise or honey bottle with a plastic nozzle that opens when twisted.

John McCormack, of the Department of Health Sciences at La Trobe University, says the loss of muscular strength was the main problem for older people.

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