Many packaging professionals never think about the specific needs of seniors when it comes to packaging, a surprising fact given that in the coming decades, the fastest-growing segment of the population will consist of those over 60. Baby-boomers abound today, and our society is only getting older. What is one of the biggest challenges seniors face when it comes to choosing products? Reading the labels, according to A.T. Kearney’s Global Maturing Consumer study.
Last month, Packaging Digest conducted an online poll in order to bring to light how many packaging professionals actually consider the needs of older consumers when designing their packages. In general, the results revealed that nearly 40% of packaging professionals always or usually consider seniors’ needs, however the numbers change when you dig down into specific market segments.
Who faired best when it came to considering the needs of seniors in packaging design? The personal care/cosmetics and pharmaceutical markets. This is good news, considering most older consumers won’t purchase a product if they can’t read the label. Pharmaceutical companies are highly aware of the importance of labels that are easily read, because much of their target market is aging seniors.
The worst markets for considering the needs of seniors according to the poll were electronics, household products, and medical devices/supplies. 50% of respondents in these markets said they seldom or never consider the needs of seniors in packaging design. The reasons? Not enough space on packages for larger print, a large font can detract from how visually attractive a package is, and as one participant plainly put it, “Never thought of it before.”
Where did the food/beverage category fall? Somewhere in the middle, with about 58% of respondents claiming they sometimes consider the needs of seniors in packaging design.
There are many solutions to the problems, particularly when it comes to the visual impairments many seniors have. One is using larger packages for products, another making additional surfaces available by using multi-ply labels. Another option was sent in by a respondent in the pharmaceutical industry – include product inserts along with references to website directions.
REA JET knows the importance of packages that are easy for seniors to handle and read when making a purchasing decision. We provide industrial coding and marking systems for a wide range of industries including food/beverage, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, packaging, building materials, and more. Learn more about our laser, ink jet, and spray mark systems, and how they can provide greater uptime on the production line, indelible marking, and cost-effective solutions to all of your printing needs.