Consumers express their likes and dislikes in a new study based on focus group insights about seals and closures.
Great strides have been made in sealing technology, enabling consumers to more easily access products-and allowing manufacturers to more creatively market their products. One of the most significant innovations in sealing technology has been the conversion from metal can end to metal ring pull. Other improvements in foil and paper sealing also exist. In this article we will discuss consumer perception of recent sealing innovations as well as a new sealing technology, BAP (Bonded Aluminum Laminate to Plastic), which is now available through Aptar (www.aptar.com). The material presented here is largely gathered through consumer research recently conducted by NSM Research Inc. (www.nsmresearch.com) in the U.S. & UK.
The “in-market” innovation clearly providing meaningful value for consumers and differentiating packaging for packagers is the conversion from metal can end to metal ring pull. Both consumers in the U.S. and the UK shared a willingness to pay extra cents or pence for “something which is so much easier to use (than the traditional can end), and does not require a can/tin opener.” Some consumers even limited their brand choice to products offered in a metal ring-pull format. However, even with the largely positive comments, consumers repeatedly expressed frustration with the metal ring pull solution.
Summarizing in consumers’ words, the main issues with metal ring pulls are the following: “The momentum necessary to get the last part totally off is excessive – sometimes resulting in serious cuts…my daughter had to get stitches! The ring breaks off and then there’s no contingency plan… If you pull too hard, especially towards the end, liquid flies out and product is everywhere!”
Verbatims and video attest to these issues and especially to the many times consumers - or their children - have cut themselves while using the metal ring pull. Other sealing formats have also caught consumers’ attention. In the UK, Duerr’s jams introduced the Orbit™ closure from Crown Closures Europe (www.crowncork.com). When presented with jam jars sporting this new closure, consumers expressed reservations at being able to easily open the jar. They were pleasantly surprised at the ease of opening and the reduced torque necessary to remove the closure. Innovations in foil, such as the Emerald Nuts canister, have also garnered favorable consumer reviews. Diamond’s rigid plastic container provides a reclosable, pourable alternative to nuts in bags, and gets consumer points for its easy-open foil.
The September issue of Packaging Strategies is the PACK EXPO Show issue, and offers articles on IIoT, pneumatic systems on a stretch wrapper, sanitary machine design, gender neutral branding, dairy food trends and more!