By 2060, one in three people will be 60 years of age or older. In other words, our population is aging and facing an industrial world that tends to become more efficient, more powerful. The consumer society is accelerating at a pace that is sometimes difficult to keep up with, especially for the elderly. These consumers must be given special attention… This is why designing packaging adapted for seniors is no longer a simple possibility but an imperative.


Access to clear and distinct information

With nearly 1.7 million visually impaired people in France, our country must adapt to the diversity of profiles present in its population. Today, there are 60,000 blind people and 1,640,000 visually impaired people (half of whom have AMD). Unfortunately, the forecasts are not very encouraging, as 5.5% of the population is expected to be visually impaired by 2030.

At present, article L111-1 of the French Consumer Code sets out certain conditions that all professionals must respect. The consumer must be able to read all the information on the packaging (price, labels, ingredients, etc.) in a legible and comprehensible manner. Each packaging is obliged to be :

  • Understandable: The text must be easy to decipher, the images easily distinguishable and the pictograms explicit.
  • Visible: The information we are looking for must be easily identifiable. Any information that is hidden or difficult to see from a certain angle must be modified.
  • Readable: The consumer should not have any difficulty in reading the text. The characters on the packaging are often too small.

All these elements sometimes struggle to fall into place. We still find in stores packaging with vertical writing, logos that are too difficult to distinguish, materials that reflect light too intensely and prevent the packaging from being read. Thus, it is necessary to mitigate these problems and to propose an alternative for the seniors. It is in this sense that Casino has created a range called “Bien pour vous” and specially designed for the elderly consumers.

Ergonomics adapted to the problems that seniors may encounter

Unfortunately, seniors are not only confronted with visual problems. Motor deficiencies limit them in their daily actions, especially those that involve grasping objects. In France, there are more than one million people suffering from chronic inflammatory rheumatism, including 300,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis. Other cases of chronic rheumatism affect almost 10 million French people…

Easy to open and close

Polyarthritis causes hand deformity, reduced strength and severe gripping difficulties. The packaging industry has developed certain innovations to make it easier to hold, open and close products. This is illustrated by the Wattwiller flower cap or the one designed by Cristalline. For senior citizens, the ordeal of opening a bottle can be very complex. Taking this difficulty into account, these two companies have decided to develop a system much more adapted to the physical conditions of the public concerned.

The same applies to metal cans with rings, which are gradually being replaced by peelable opening systems. If we see more and more metal cans with a ring presented as easier to open, it remains that this method remains a difficulty for people who cannot use sufficient strength.

Easy to grip

The ergonomics of a product must be thought out in relation to the public supposed to be concerned by its purchase. Basic products (water, milk, bread, coffee, etc.) are consumed by a dense and diversified panel of consumers. This is why it is important to offer a design that is both aesthetic – when we know the importance of the visual in the purchase decision – and practical. To do this, some brands have thought about a packaging that combines the thinness of the contours with the ease of handling.

The Nescafé brand, for example, has developed a new packaging for its product “Nescafé Gold Blend”. The latter has become easier to grip and has a much less complex opening than before. The same goes for Contrex, which has been able to produce bottles that are easy to grip thanks to a shape that is perfectly adapted to the hand.

There is still work to be done to perfect products adapted to seniors, but this is an issue that is being closely studied. Consumption for all must be the promise of tomorrow!

Find all our bagging solutions! For more information, please contact us and download the Packaging Guide on the theme of Bagging.

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