From the moment we learn to ride a bike until the moment that our children have to have an intervention with us because we’re getting too old to drive and we’re scaring the grandchildren, Americans are on the move.
Where are we going? Anywhere but the kitchen, it seems. According to a recent study, Americans spend, on average, about 30 minutes per day in the kitchen. The rest of the time we’re eating out, going to work, sleeping, driving kids to soccer practice and, well, reading packaging blogs. Anything but preparing food.
But we certainly haven’t stopped eating — we’re just changing our habits, and your food packaging needs to meet that need.
Food packaging needs to have all of the classic attributes: secure, conveys brand messaging, cost-effective, etc. But now we have to accommodate Mr. and Mrs. Smith who are running out the door and barely have enough time to remember their laptop, let alone cook and eat breakfast at the table.
This means ergonomically designed cups and holders, incorporating plastic forks, spoons and straws into the design and making packaging that fits in the cup holders of the car.
And heaven help you if you sell food that needs to be nuked in the microwave — the packaging better not be blistering hot when it’s snagged from the microwave with 3 seconds still left on the timer. If they can’t wait those 3 seconds, do you think they’re actually going to put it on a plate?
Designing food packaging is no longer about getting the product into the shopping cart; it’s evolved to include portability and transitioning into consumers’ daily lives, out of the kitchen and into the streets.