5 Things Consumers Hate About a Product Package

Product package design is so much more than just the graphics; if your packaging doesn’t nail function as well as aesthetics your consumers could hate your products’ package enough to look elsewhere.


product package

Packaging quality control and product package design plays a major role in marketing and brand success. If your packaging sucks, you lose valuable customers. Professionals know this well. Oddly enough, many still fail to commit enough effort to designing a package that consumers will love.


Brands who have invested time and effort into their consumer research and package design, have come up with simple to advanced and innovative packaging solutions.


Packaging Innovation

Flexible packaging is an amazing innovation, and consumers love it. Flexible packaging is the result of research-based development and it provides solutions to common problems that customers hate about packaging.


With a little creativity, some brands have come up with some pretty innovative flexible packaging formats, designed to make consumer life easier.


One such innovation was developed by The Pacific Shaving Company, who partnered up with a soluble packaging technology leader MonoSol, to develop the “Single Use Shaving Cream Minis”.

product package design

The minis are one shaving dose pods packed in soluble film, in one flexible package bag. In contact with water on the palm of a user’s hand, the film dissolves and the cream gets a foamy consistency ready to be applied.


As well as hitting the mark of convenience and ease of use for travelers, this partnership has created a sustainable package solution. This is because the amount of material waste is reduced to a minimum through the combination of flexible and soluble packaging.


What the research shows

Based on the most recent packaging research done by WestRock, below are some of the key takeaways.

66 percent of U.S. consumers have decided to try a new product based on how appealing the packaging is

78 percent of consumers said a package design must focus on ease of use.

60 percent of consumers have continued to buy a certain product because of functional packaging.

81 percent of consumers say that safety should be the top priority for packaging.

35 percent consumers have changed the brand of products; which they buy due to new packaging.


Check out the full Packaging Matters research results infographic for additional findings on packaging design.


What are the 5 Most Hated Flaws in Package Design?

When it comes down to it, the primary goal of package design is to seamlessly combine form and function and if function isn’t cutting the mustard, consumers hate the package. Here are the top 5 things consumers hate about a product package.

1.   It’s hard or unsafe to open, or gets damaged during opening

This is the top packaging issue for consumers and sometimes the cause of severe “wrap rage”.


Who doesn’t hate it when a package is so hard to open, you either damage, tear or puncture it during opening or you have to use a tool to open it. Most commonly you need scissors, and because they’re not available in the moment, you revert to a knife or other sharp object.


Not only is that dangerous, but it’s also a time waster for the modern, on-the-go consumer.


If you’re one of the manufacturers guilty of this issue, it’s time for a reality check. You might think you’re saving money by using cheap materials and solutions, or that your product is so good that bad packaging just can’t be an issue. But, this is far from the truth. If not already, sooner or later, you will start losing customers.


Depending on the industry, hard to open packaging might be a safety precaution. But, remember that with today’s packaging innovations, there are safety focused packaging options which are way more functional.

2.   Hard to read text on label or package

Personally, I’d nominate this issue as the top one. This one is a common issue on cosmetic products. What’s the point of putting unreadable amounts of text in a font so tiny that you have to get a magnifier to read it? Does it really manage to pass text inspection? I doubt it very much.


Sure, there might be different language translations and regulatory requirements, mandatory elements such as barcodes, plus your branding elements. But, advanced packaging quality control software will never give a pass to unreadable text, and you shouldn’t either.


Guilty of using fonts, which are too small? It’s time to reinvent the wheel. Even if you’re sales are great, and your products are loved by consumers – just one package improvement such as clear and readable text can shoot your sales up even more.


3.   You can’t close it

What’s the point of creating protective product packaging if the product won’t stay fresh because it can’t be closed properly? This should be common sense, yet so many manufacturers still neglect this issue.


Cereals, shredded cheese, crisps, sweets and the list goes on. The time for manufacturers to adapt to the modern consumer demands is here and soon enough a re-closable package will be essential to survive the competitive market.


4.   Not being able to tell how much product is left

Packaging which makes it hard to tell how much product is left is another issue consumers hate. This is mostly common in cosmetics, and some food and beverage products too.


The solutions for this are transparent packaging and smart packaging with indicators. This will cut research costs and save you time. Obviously, a financial investment will still be necessary for the new materials and resources, but the investment will be worth it as it will result in customer loyalty and increased sales.


5.   It’s not environment friendly

Although recent studies indicate that 62 percent of customers feel negatively toward brands that don’t use eco-friendly packagingit’s still debatable how much it affects the buying decision.


Yet, green products and packaging are a trend which is here to stay. Switching to sustainable and eco-friendly packaging gives brands the competitive edge to climb the market ladder higher up.


Take Tetra Pak’s Tetra Evero Aseptic milk bottle for example. Not only does it hit the mark with functionality for consumers as well as manufacturers, but it is also recyclable and leaves a way smaller carbon footprint in the recycling process.


Line-up Tetra Evero Aseptic carton bottles


Beat the competition by improving your product packaging

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge investment, and even if it is, improving your product packaging according to these top things consumers hate about a package, is guaranteed to help you boost your sales.


Always remember that your packaging design is a crucial part of your marketing, and that consumers often make conclusions about a product based on its package.