Inclusive design in FMCG packaging

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ith the Covid-19 pandemic driving many consumers and companies to ecommerce, designing inclusive packaging that is easier for disabled consumers to read, open, and use is becoming more important.

The World Bank estimates that approximately one billion people worldwide have a disability, and this sizeable market is often overlooked to better target the masses. However, there are some recent innovations in inclusive packaging that can help products reach this sizeable, but underserved, consumer group.

Below, we round up five notable examples of inclusive packaging in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) space.

Kellogg’s Coco Pops

Kellogg’s has produced a new trial box design that contains a large printed code that customers can scan with their smartphone, which then reads out ingredient and allergy information.

The boxes were developed following research from the Royal National Institute of Blind People, which found 90% of blind and partially sighted people found information on food packaging difficult or impossible to read. If successful, the company hopes to update more of its cereal box designs to include this technology.

Credit: Kellogg's

Mimica Touch

Mimica Touch is a temperature-sensitive label for food freshness, which changes texture when a product is no longer fresh. This helps visually impaired consumers, who may not be able to read the expiry date, and can help reduce food waste by revealing when products have actually spoiled, rather than depending on an estimated date. Mimica Touch is planned for use with juice, dairy and red meat packaging.

Credit: Mimica Touch

SPC Australia’s SPC ProVital Easy-Open

PC ProVital Easy-Open packaging range is designed to be accessible for all consumers, including those with reduced fine motor skills, dexterity and strength.

Approximately 95% of the population are able to open the pack without tools, as the textured lengthened pull-tab, easy-grip cup shape, and low opening force enable consumers with a number of disabilities to easily open the product with low frustration and potential for pain. High-contrast, simple packaging also makes it much easier to obtain product information.

Credit: SPC Australia

Procter & Gamble: tactile Herbal Essences bottles

The Herbal Essences tactile bottle design makes it easier for vision-impaired consumers to better distinguish between shampoo and conditioner in the shower. Packaging information is often dependent on visual information, which excludes consumers with vision impairments.

Not all visually impaired people read Braille, which often takes years to learn, meaning that a simplified system that efficiently conveys the necessary information is an apt development that in no way harms the experience of the non-disabled consumer.

As part of the product’s development process, Procter & Gamble asked staff to wear glasses that mimic sight loss and interact with products to gain new insights and promote inclusive designs.

Credit: Procter & Gamble

Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging

Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging is easy to open and aims to make the unboxing experience as straightforward for the consumer as possible.

Amazon has worked with manufacturers to help them innovate and improve their packaging for ecommerce, reducing waste and costs throughout the supply chain. This reduces the need for complicated fixings, ties, and tapes; replacing them with 100% recycled materials that are easy to recycle.

The opening strips and the surrounding material have their own unique cut and feel, and opening the packaging is straightforward. During the Covid-19 pandemic, ecommerce has become much more important for almost all categories, meaning that inclusive, accessible packaging for ecommerce is an absolute must-have.

Credit: Amazon

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