packaging leaves older consumers powerless
Research carried out by Portsmouth University highlights the difficulties elderly consumers encounter when faced with heavy, tightly wrapped goods, sealed containers and child-proof bottles.
Older people suffer embarrassment, frustration, potential illness and serious injury as a result of difficulties with packaging. The report also claims that difficulty reading labels or cooking instructions and opening cans also damages their confidence and makes it more difficult for them to live independently.
Dr Nicholas Ford, of Portsmouth Business School, said, “A variety of products and services have been identified as inhibiting older people’s abilities to maintain their independence, from public transport to kitchen interiors and internet banking. However, few factors are highlighted as often as difficulties with packaging.”
Issues encountered included difficulties in reading labels, confusion about contents due to unclear & deceptive imagery, difficulties transporting heavy or bulky packages and difficulties opening the packaging to get at the contents.Based on Office for National Statistics projections, the population aged 65 and over will account for nearly 23 per cent of the total population in 2032.
Based on Office for National Statistics projections, the population aged 65 and over will account for nearly 23 per cent of the total population in 2032.
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
There is a delicate balance to tread between designing packaging to help older shoppers identify and purchase what they need and alienating a large sector of consumers by labeling them as ‘old and past it’. It is worth remembering that it isn’t only the elderly who have trouble reading labels or opening packs! Improved packaging design around ease of use would benefit us all, young and old.