Seniors are not amused by obnoxious packaging

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

April 23, 2015

3 Min Read
Seniors are not amused by obnoxious packaging

Pop-top soup cans, toy packaging with twisty ties and other hard-to-open packaging has this 61-year-old senior who suffers from arthritis fed up. Janice Lascko sent a letter to the Packaging Industry, via Packaging Digest, at the end of March with a simple yet emphatic message:

>>>stop making packaging that is extremely hard to open<<<

This disabled veteran admits that medications, of course, need to be packaged securely—but the rest of the “obnoxious” packaging out there is pretty much hogwash. Case in point: She usually opens and repacks toys for her grandkids because she doesn’t want them to break the toy trying to get it out of the package. (I’ve done this myself, too. Can you say Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging?)

This isn’t the first time consumers have railed against packaging that isn’t easy-open, and, let’s be honest, it probably won’t be the last. But Janice, speaking for her generation, lays it on the line: “We won’t buy it if we can’t easily open it.”

She does, however, offer a solution: “Hire Senior Citizens with arthritis to help you design packaging for us.” I’ll go one further…I’m sure there are plenty of senior citizens, with or without arthritis, who would gladly give you feedback on your proposed packaging design(s) for free. Another couple more years and I’ll volunteer myself.

Read the letter in its entirety here:

March 30, 2015

Packaging Industry

Dear Packaging Engineers,

I am a 61 yr old disabled veteran, and although I do work, I suffer with rheumatoid arthritis in my hands. Having a degree in Business Management and Marketing, I do understand where you come from with your overkill on packaging, however, I believe the time is now to share my thoughts with you ...

>>>stop making packaging that is extremely hard to open<<<

Everything from pop-top soup cans, bubble packaging that requires a hacksaw, bottled anything liquid that has the teeny-tiny tab to pull to open it. You cannot even begin to imagine how frustrating it is for us seniors, or anyone with a disability, or frankly EVERYONE who needs to get something open having to waste their time finding ways to open these obnoxious packages. On toys, you spend money to zip-tie

down a simple doll, or on clothing those itty-bitty price tags that once you snip it, you can't find it and your dog eats it.

Let's be reasonable - we are NOT amused. I have a dozen of cuts on my hands from attempting to open various types of packages. When I give my grandchildren any gifts with the zip-ties or twisty ties, I first open the packaging up and I wrap the item loosely so my grandchildren don't break the toy trying to get it out.

You are in ridiculous over-kill mode. Yes, package medication like aspirin securely but seriously, the rest of it is hogwash.  I don't buy items that are hard to open anymore. So you are losing money because I cannot get into your over-packaged items. Simple cardboard is just fine. We can operate can openers because opening soup or dog food with a lift-top cuts our fingers. Hire Senior Citizens with arthritis to help you design packaging for us, because we won't buy it if we can't easily open it.


Janice M. Lascko

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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