Nutritech - Rethinking the Food Chain

Food quality information interests senior consumers

16.9.2013 12:05


Senior consumers are a heterogenic group covering a wide range of ages, physical capabilities, lifestyles and purchasing power. Only little research is published about the ageing consumers' expectations and experiences regarding food packaging. However, defining key packaging factors might provide a valuable tool to improve consumption of suitable food and nutrition for older people.

In a study made in cooperation with VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland and Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands the relationships between packaging preferences and type of product information among senior consumers was explored. The study was done using a Seniors of the Future internet panel (age = 55+, n=400) in the Netherlands. The questions in the study dealt with information consumers would be interested in reading on a food packaging and how appealing they experienced certain labels. The results showed that seniors did not find all packaging labels included in the study equally appealing. They expressed a special interest in reading product quality related information. Only limited interest was expressed in the information that a product is designed especially for seniors. Based on the results it seems advisable to ensure that packaging design communicates a positive image and personal benefits.

The article was published in the 26th Packaging symposium of IAPRI, held in Dipoli, Espoo, 10–13, June. IAPRI is the International Association of Packaging Research Institutes and in its yearly events gather researchers and packaging developers together to publish and discuss latest results in packaging research. This year VTT was honoured to organise the symposium in Finland. The event was successful with almost 150 participants from 24 countries. The presentations provided a good overview of sustainable and safe packaging, packaging material development, active and intelligent packaging, food and packaging interaction, consumer perception, and packaging performance in the logistic chain.

Food packages for senior consumers - Preferences on information and labelling
Maaskant, A., Rusko, E., Heiniö, R-L., Sallinen, J., Kremer, S.
26th IAPRI Symposium on Packaging, 10 - 13 June 2013, Espoo, Finland
Proceedings of 26th IAPRI Symposium on Packaging 2013. VTT, IAPRI (2013), 260 – 267.

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