Preventing packaging wrap rage

Our client was concerned about the difficulty their customers were having when attempting to unwrap their products. Here's how our team tackled the challenge


The challenge


When our client, a snack food manufacturer, conducted their latest market survey they were pleased to find excellent feedback from customers about the quality of their product when compared to similar products sold by their competitors. However this did not stop concerns over a potential loss of market share. Reports were coming in indicating that some of their products were reportedly difficult to open, with efforts often resulting in spillage. They turned to us for a solution.

David Cutting Courtney At Exploding Machine Bethan Hopley At The Sampler



RSSL measured the package opening forces of representative products in the manufacturer’s range and compared these to opening similar competitor products. As part this assessment tear, peel and pinch opening forces were evaluated. The forces measured are compared with the forces that various demographics are able to apply, using publicly available biomechanical data. This force evaluation indicated that, unlike the leading competitor, our client's products could be opened by teenagers and young adults, however they couldn't be opened by by children and the elderly.








Fig 1: Opening curve




Typical peel opening curves for a product with an easy opening feature produced on a tensile testing rig that uses a cold seal adhesive to enable reseal.  A plateau region is reached which corresponds to the opening force.  The reopening force is typically lower than when the item is first opened.


Pink - Opening curve

Green - Reopening curve



Finding a solution


At the same time the client conducted their own consumer study. Using assessors from across the population they measured how the difficulty participants had in opening their packaging vs opining competitor packaging.


The results of this consumer study were in broad agreement with the mechanical test results.  Using both sets of data the clients packaging design team, working closely with their sensory, manufacturing and ergonomic design teams, came up with a series of solutions to make it easier to open their packaging without spilling the contents.  RSSL helped the client decide which prototypes satisfied the brief of being easy to open by mechanical testing.  They also helped ensure that the new packaging solutions still had integrity by performing burst and leak testing and the appropriate barrier properties for the self-life of the goods contain by performing oxygen and water vapour permeability measurements.


With our support the client was able to select their preferred prototype packaging based on the results provided and develop the packaging to be fit for manufacturing.


How RSSL can support with packaging testing

RSSL’s comprehensive packaging testing service is designed to evaluate a broad range of materials and formats across primary and secondary packaging categories. These include evaluating material mechanical and physical properties, such as barrier protection, ease of opening and mechanical strength, as well as material analysis including microscopy, and spectroscopy techniques. Our technical experts can evaluate the impact of the packaging on product shelf life as well as the potential impact of the packaging on the product with potential tainting compounds, due to low barrier protection or tainted raw material. Click through to find out more or contact us below.

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