Packaging Points

By MIKE AUERBACH, Editor in Chief, Pharmaceutical Processing

Mike AuerbachI’ve been thinking a lot lately about packaging.

We all know how important packaging is to our lives and how packaging has, for the most part, made our modern, high-tech lives possible.

But what happens when you look past the big picture — and get down to the real nitty-gritty of packaging — down to the individual consumer level — and how they interact with packaging on a daily basis. For this survey of modern packaging, I took a look at my own experiences with packaging.

For starters, there are some winners and, to be charitable, some non-winners.

Let’s start with a standout.

Due to more than his fair share of sports-related broken bones, my son was drinking a very popular nutrition supplement high in calcium. This product, marketed primarily to older people worried about osteoporosis and other age-related bone diseases, has an ingenious cap that with just a few easy twirls is open. The packaging designers clearly had their target consumer in mind when designing this easy open container.

Moving on to some less than stellar examples of packaging — I have to say that I have had some issues with modern blister-packaging products. I know there are many benefits to blister-packaging, and I don’t have the space here to go into them, but they are well known. However, some forms of blister-packaging, particularly the type where you have to peel a layer off before you can push out the product can be maddening, especially when you can’t get the corner started to start the peel. And, more often than not, only half of the film peels off, leaving you to try and squeeze the pill through the opening.

And finally, does anyone ever get the little tab at the top of the cereal box to stay in the slot on the other flap? I rarely get it to stay in place, especially after I’ve mangled the top trying to open it up.

Do you have any packaging winner or losers? I would love to hear about them.

Let me know via