We’re Really Feeling This Textured Packaging

January 09, 2018

Man choosing

There are some things you just can’t wait to get your hands on— a juicy steak after a long week of being a healthy eater, that new smart device you’ve been saving up for… heck, even just a refreshing soda after a hot day in the sun. With a breakthrough in sensory technology, one company is hoping that packages are the next thing you just can’t keep your hands off.

DSM Coating Resins, a subsidiary of chemical company Royal DSM, has published an exploration of how they create packaging that appeals to the consumer’s sense of touch. The logic is simple – after your product visually entices the customer, they reach out and pick it up. You’ve spent so much time perfecting your appeal to eyesight, why stop short of focusing on touch?

To dig deeper into touch-focused packaging, DSM developed what they call the “Haptic Innovation Process.” A team of haptic experts examined a variety of packaging materials and took into account everything from a material’s slipperiness to how sticky it feels. These characteristics were plotted out and put to work to improve the packaging experience.

The result of these experiments was a sensory library of over 400 “fingerprints,” which can be applied to packaging materials by using a special coating. For example, a box of cake mix may be coated with fibers to make it feel velvety. Meanwhile, a package of sandpaper may be coated with larger particles to give the impression of roughness.

Avid Ernest Buzz readers will already know that there’s much more to packaging than meets the eye. Last year we saw how one art student’s Braille-based packaging could bring a brighter future for blind shoppers, and how differently shaped food packages can influence the consumer’s perception of its flavor. DSM’s haptic innovations may pave the way for the perfect packaging on all sensory fronts.

There’s so much that goes into packaging that’s it’s hard to know where to begin. Let Ernest do the thinking for you – we’ve engineered solutions for our partners for over 70 years, and our commitment to Moving Packaging Forward means we’re always looking for the next big thing to better connect you with your customers. Don’t hesitate to get in TOUCH (see what we did there?).