January 26, 2021
Your product matters. You want it to get into the right hands at the right time. And, while product protection has always mattered, consumers have a heightened awareness towards safety standards due to COVID-19. Tamper-evident packaging can help protect your product and showcase the state of your packaging and product to your consumer.
But, first, what even is tamper-evident packaging?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “A tamper-evident package is one having one or more indicators or barriers to entry which, if breached or missing, can reasonably be expected to provide visible evidence to consumers that tampering has occurred.”1
So, if someone or something meddled with your packaging, it would be apparent to consumers. They would see a broken film, a torn lid, or something along those lines, and know that the packaging and product wasn’t in the supplier’s intended condition. This alert through packaging appearance helps keep your consumer and your brand safe. While not all products call for the extra precaution of tamper-evident packaging, it’s an option that may be either required or desired for products in the food, beverage, hygiene, medical markets, and more.
Let’s take a look at a few popular types of tamper-evident packaging.
Blister packaging is usually thermoformed and contains a cavity that fits your specific product, protecting it from transport and pilferage. Sometimes this cavity is uniquely molded around your product and sometimes it is a standard sized cavity. If not packaged in another container, the clear plastic blister packaging allows consumers to see your product, a plus for shoppers who want transparency before investing in a product. Blister packaging comes in many forms – from easy-to-open face seal packages where a plastic blister is mechanically heat sealed, to a specially coated paper card, to an extremely durable two-piece plastic clamshell package sealed by radio frequency welding equipment. Blister packaging is used in multiple markets including:
- Cosmetic and Personal Care
- Electronic, Media, and Mobile Devices
- School and Office Supplies
- Medical and Pharmaceuticals
- Household and Hardware
- Sporting Goods and Toys
- Automotive Aftermarket
While having an air of transparency, blister packaging protects against unwanted tampering. Some blister packaging styles include “try-me” features which deter shoppers from opening the package in the store to determine if the product is right for them. Examples of this style of packaging, include wrenches and hammers with ergonomic handles exposed from the packaging. This not only protects the product and keeps marketing messaging intact, but it also enhances the shopper’s buying experience and reduces returns once the product is purchased and taken home.
Lidding films seal to many different types of substrates and can be made from laminates containing foil, PP, PE, PET, or even mono-layer structures with a heat seal coating. Finding the right lidding film for your product involves more than just having the correct tray dimensions, matching material, and tamper evident properties. It also involves thinking about the functionality of your packaging such as a need for image display, barrier properties, or recloseability. Lidding film can simultaneously serve multiple functions. As such, markets for lidding film are vast but include:
- Dairy: Yogurt, Sour Cream, Butter/Margarine, and Cheese
- Prepared Foods: Side Dishes, Soups, Pudding
- Dry/Dehydrated Foods: Cereal, Confection, Pasta, Rice
- Food Service: Dips, Dressings, Sauces
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: Lettuce, Blueberries, Tomatoes
- Hygiene and Pharmaceuticals
- Industrial and Chemicals
It must be noted that not all lidding film provides tamper-evident properties. Many lidding films can provide visual indication of tampering if the packaging is broken into. You just have to select the correct film for the task, something Sonoco and The HiveSM Design Services can assist you with.
Resealable pouches are easy to implement at a plant level since pre-made pouches are widely available, and form-fill-seal machines offer a tried-and-true technology. Resealable pouches also cater to consumer preferences as they are convenient for the on-the-go consumer but still show the safety-conscious consumer the state of your packaging and product. The tear notches at the top of the resealable pouch can be pulled to remove material and reveal a zipper that can be opened and closed. A consumer could easily determine that a pouch has been tampered with if a tear notch has been previously pulled. Below are some example markets for resealable pouches:
- Pet Care
- Dry/Dehydrated Foods
Resealable pouches, lidding films, and blister packaging are just three types of tamper-evident packaging that you could use to help protect your product, aiding your brand and meeting the consumer desire for safety. As you think through the multiple goals of your packaging, consider the benefit of having a packaging market research partner to guide you.
Ready to Help!
At The Hive℠ Design Services we are ready to help by designing custom research programs to uncover your customers’ brand connection, preferences, pain points and usage behavior, while revealing themes that you can use to build your strategy for enhancing consumer engagement and brand loyalty. Our certified moderators, research and packaging specialists will build the qualitative and quantitative studies you need to test your concepts at scale, from insights to prototyping.
1 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. “CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21,” 2019. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=211.132