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Does your packaging have an age limit?

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Packaging for ageing population

Nearly one in five people currently living in the UK will now see their 100th birthday, according to the Office for National Statistics.

With birth rates declining and the population’s mean age increasing, it is vital that the needs of the elderly population are met. Especially when nearly one quarter of UK consumers are expected to fit into the over 65 age bracket by 2040.

Food and drink goods are becoming increasingly tailored to meet the needs of the older generation, in order to satisfy their additional nutritional requirements and diet. Food manufacturers are making the life of consumers that little bit easier with pre-prepared or pre-sliced packaged fruit and pre-cooked meal solutions.

So why should the product packaging be any different?

Hard to open jars, sealed containers, tightly wrapped goods and child-proof bottles are a daunting prospect for the elderly. Not to mention the small print on the side of pack labels, making it not only frustrating but also dangerous for older consumers. These labels include important and necessary information such as use by dates, cooking instructions and ingredient lists.

Older consumers need packaging that meets their individual requirements and fit in well with their daily life. Nowadays packs are securely packed to ensure the required shelf life is met, making it almost impossible for the elderly or disabled to get into the pack, let alone think about consuming the contents. Today’s packs should incorporate easy openings and closures such as peelable lids, plastic zips on flexible packaging and re-closable designs.

LINPAC manufacture a vast portfolio of films, the majority of which are ideal for this elderly age group. LINPAC top seal films are easy peel and reclosable making life a lot easier for everyone and they reclose after use meaning food can be consumed at a later date and not wasted.

36% of UK consumers aged 65 and over live alone, of which 70% are women, according to the 2015 ONS Labour Force Survey. Consumers can also face another problem which larger packs encourage - overindulgence. The older consumers become, the more common it is to have less of an appetite. Older consumers living at home alone therefore need convenient easy solutions to solve the problem and LINPAC split packs can help.

The “eat me, keep me” split pack design was created with the home-alone consumer in mind and is ideal for packaging of meat, fish and poultry. The clever design of the packs means food can be kept in the best condition for longer.  Consumers are able to simply open one side of the pack, use a portion and leave the other side of the pack completely sealed retaining the freshness and shelf life of the second portion ready to eat later. This creates not only a safer solution avoiding contamination and food spoilage and healthy portion control.

As our population ages, it is important that this growing consumer group is not forgotten. They may have more demanding requirements than the mass-market consumer, however their individual needs are key opportunities for retailers and packers to drive value and we’re all never too old to appreciate great packaging! 

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