When it comes to packaging, sustainability is one of the key influencing factors for consumers and, in fact, a research shows that consumers not only expect brands to be using sustainable packaging but are willing to pay more for it to make it more accessible.
Whilst sustainability is rightly at the forefront of brands’ minds, so too is accessibility. To the extent that the latter is growing in importance – not just in the packaging industry but in society as a whole.
The pressing need for inclusivity and the fact that we’re living longer means packaging companies really have to pull out all the stops when it comes to design and innovation in this area. At Smurfit Kappa we work with our customers to help them to stand out from competitors and increase positive consumer perceptions about their brand with our wide range of accessible packaging solutions.
Why accessible packaging is so important
Accessible packaging is an essential everyday need for many individuals. It doesn’t just bring those who are physically limited independence and, as a result, increased self-esteem. It’s also far safer for them to use. It doesn’t require the use of tools, which significantly reduces the likelihood of nicks and cuts as a result of battling with hard-to-open packaging.
Simple packaging solutions such as easy-open mechanisms can make the unboxing experience faster and safer. Our accessible packaging solutions, for example, include loops that can be pulled with four or more fingers and hinges with large grasp areas, as well as feature high contrast colours and Braille for those with no or reduced sight.
Examples of accessible packaging
There are examples of accessible packaging in many different industries. Global skincare brand Olay has recently launched some of their most popular products, such as Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, with an ‘easy-open’ lid, for instance. The plastic cap has ‘wings’ to allow those with finger dexterity issues to twist it open. At the same time, the jar’s labelling is enhanced in a nod to customers with visual impairment with, for example, a contrasting label and Braille on the surface of the cap.
Unilever has introduced an easy-grip deodorant which can be opened using a limb other than the hand, benefitting those with limited hand movement or grip. A hook on the cap means a doorknob or similar item in a room can be used for leverage. At the same time, a user with reduced arm movement can put their foot in a gap in the bottom of the deodorant to steady the container and then use the hook to open it. The ‘degree’ deodorant is produced in an easier-to-grip rectangular shape, which is also larger than standard deodorants.
When it comes to corrugated accessible packaging, the options are almost endless. Below are just some of the ways we can make the simplest adjustment with maximum impact for your customers:
- Easy-open mechanisms such as tear strips and loops to aid with unboxing
- Hinges with large grasp areas to aid with packaging handling
- Easy-to-return packaging reducing the need for your customer to physically source their own packaging should they need to return a product.
- Braille and high-contrast colours to assist those with no or reduced sight
Empowering brands, empowering people
At Smurfit Kappa, we’re all about helping retailers and businesses make worthwhile changes that positively impact consumers. We take the many benefits of sustainable packaging and combine them with those of accessible packaging to create solutions that are better for the planet and better for all consumers. From easy-to-open mechanisms to aid unboxing and high-contrast colours and Braille options, we not only make the unboxing experience easier and safer, but also empowering to consumers who crave products that promote their independence.
Why you should offer accessible packaging
Having accessible packaging doesn’t just help consumers. It can also positively influence how your brand is viewed by the general public. By being truly inclusive, you’re not just expanding your customer base; you’re also showing you care about not discriminating against any of your customers – something that is so important in today’s society.
By being innovative and introducing accessible packaging, you’ll differentiate yourself from competitors who are lagging behind, giving you an edge in what is, for many commercial sectors, a saturated marketplace. No matter how impressive a product is, accessible packaging can be the difference between a one-off purchase and a loyal customer.
To find out more about our accessible packaging solutions, go to smurfitkappa.com