"On-the-go" is a viscerally descriptive term. With it, you can visualise a busy office worker who rushes through hour-long commutes, coffee in hand. Or picture a mishmash of friends and colleagues crowding around a table with stacks of disposable take out lunch boxes. Before we even noticed it, living "on-the-go" has become a familiar and well-established way of life.
So much so that even retail industries have transformed themselves to accommodate it. If you look, you will be able to see many products and services that cater to on-the-go lifestyles. It may even be the nub of branding and marketing for many customer-centric companies - from gyms, coffee shops, and many other remote services - all these attempts to cater to a busier and faster-paced world.
Developments in food packaging are as much a symptom and driving force as well as a result of this faster way of life. There is an ever-growing demand for easy-to-use and well-designed packaging that is appropriate for our present-day needs, such as to-go boxes for marketing efforts. But what does user convenience entail?
Keep reading on to find out how the on-to-go trend is playing a huge role in user convenience for many these days.
In other words, we’re referring to: small, lightweight food containers that fit in our hands and the nifty cup holders in cars and cinema seats. Ideally, they should also be re-sealable.
But it doesn’t end there - user convenience involves a whole slew of considerations that start with how easy it is to open, and ends with how easy it is to dispose of. You might have heard of it before, but there is such a term called “wrap rage”. It's what you call the high levels of anger and frustration that comes with difficulty in opening packages.
It can lead to consumers suffering injuries as they resort to using force and sharp objects to open these packages. Therefore, safety and risk are yet other factors to consider when it comes to user convenience.
With food products, you have to avoid contamination, spillage and prevent tampering— but you also need to balance that out by making sure the packaging is still simple and easy to open. Also, it would be best if you did away with using too much excess packaging because, in line with customer perceptions, that is not good for the environment.
Storage and disposal are yet other aspects to take into consideration. For example, angular and box-shaped containers are generally easier to store and stack together compared to irregularly shaped ones.
Containers should also be easy to dispose of. For example, they should be easy to clean and should also crush easily, and all the while be safe to handle. A perfect example of containers that are easy to store and dispose of are these disposable lunch boxes made out of paper or plastic.
User convenience is a multi-faceted thing that involves saving consumer’s time, money and generally making things easier for them as they live their lives. There is also a need for companies and consumers alike to operate and live in a way that’s sustainable for the environment.
Consumers today have many product choices available to them, so businesses must continue to stay competitive and relevant by being more customer-centric and responding positively to the needs of their customers.