Thursday, December 4, 2008

Packaging More Painful Packaging

Writen by Michael Russell

In this last of our two part series on packaging that can be a real pain in the backside, we're going to take a look at a few more packaging nightmares that make us want to just pull our hair out of our head. You are surely going to relate to some of these gems.

Cereal is one of the biggest sellers in the world, especially cold cereal. As you know, your family size cereal box is pretty large so you're not going to finish it in one serving. This is brought up because the packaging is a pain in more ways than one. For starters, did you ever try to open the plastic inside the box where the cereal is actually kept? There's supposed to be a seal that you can open but in most cases, it is glued so tightly shut that there is no way you can open it in a way where you can re-close it afterwards. So, you end up having to rip the thing apart. The problem with doing this is that you can't reseal the package afterwards and your cereal ends up getting stale very fast. That is of course unless you have a very large family.

Then there are packages that you just can't open the way they're meant to be opened. For example, did you ever buy a roll of Life Savers? That's right, Life Savers. If you notice, the ends of each roll can be, at least in theory, pealed away. The problem is, the glue holding these seals together is so strong that you just can't do it. So what you have to do and this is a trick that every grandfather teaches you, is to hold the Life Savers roll in one hand, take your thumb and stick the nail underneath the first Life Saver in the roll. This will pop the first one up and effectively open the roll.

While we discussed CD packaging in the first part of this series, we failed to touch on the inside of the CD box itself. Well, after all, this is packaging too. And while the boxes themselves are easy to open, have you ever noticed that once you DO get the box open, trying to pull the CD itself out of the box is almost impossible. The hub that the CD is wrapped around is usually a very tight fit. This becomes a real pain because you don't want to touch the underside of the CD itself because this would end up placing fingerprints on the CD which could cause the CD to be unusable. Now THAT is a royal pain.

And finally, even though we could still go on forever, there are candles. Did you ever notice that the cellophane wrapped around the candle itself just can't be pealed away no matter how hard you try? The only solution is to take a sharp edge and cut into it, which unfortunately also cuts into your candle as well. If these are designer candles, that is the LAST thing you want to do. Can't they just make the top of the wrapper something you can pull away or cut?

Packaging is an important part of a product. But getting the product out of the package is just as important. Manufacturers should try to remember that.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Packaging

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