The rule for children: unwrapping should be easy, fun and build anticipation about what is inside. Photo: Fruit Glasses by Viktoriia Schmid and Arthur Schmidt / https://recreatepackaging.com
Packaging for Children
Obesity already at a very young age is increasingly becoming a global problem. Children’s cravings for sweet and high-fat food are hoped to be curbed from the outset by advertisement-free zones, warning notes on packaging or the prohibition of enticing gifts like free toys in crisp packets and the like. Packaging designers take a completely different approach when it comes to whetting kids’ appetites for a diet rich in vitamins – by making unwrapping an experience. And in future our offspring will also be able to look forward to taking their medicine.
Motto: autonomy comes up trumps
In the Netherlands school children rarely take to fresh food voluntarily: various studies show that not even 1% of all Dutch minors eats a portion of vegetables a day. The cooperation between the supermarket chain Jan Linders and the children’s cooking school Kokkerelli Kids University for Cooking focuses on whetting youngsters’ appetites for high-nutrient dishes by actively involving them rather than being forced by parents. Instead of eating what’s served up the motto here is: cook it yourself. The result of this exercise are four healthy products and four especially designed packaging units. After all, children not only know what children like to eat most but they also know what children are most likely to choose at the supermarket.
In a project initiated by the Dutch supermarket chain Jan Linders and the cooking school Kokkerelli children were invited to co-develop veggie-rich products. And the best thing about it: they had a say in the packaging itself. Photo: Kokkerelli Kids University for Cooking
Packaging experience designed for children
Doing it yourself was also key at the “Recreate-Packaging”- competition of the Scandinavian packaging producer Stora Enso. This year’s focal theme was ‘food packaging for children’. When judging the 258 ideas submitted special attention was attributed not only to innovative designs and sustainable packaging solutions from renewable materials but also, and especially, to child-like functionality. Unwrapping is designed to be easy, fun and build anticipation about what is inside.
The convincing submissions included a yoghurt cup which can be converted into funny paper eyeglasses. Promoting creativity and imagination was centre stage with the award-winning packaging ‘SNACK+BREAK / Healthy Fruit Mix’ and ‘Bacaly Snake’, a paper snake filled with nuts and berries.
The audience favoured two students from Poland who simply turned around the sequence of snacking and play: to get the smart snack the little ones first have to solve a puzzle. The box only opens once the shapes and colours have been combined correctly.
A snake with healthy contents turns into a toy. Photo: Bacaly Snake Karolina Lademann and Tomasz Żakowski, Aleły / https://recreatepackaging.com
Packaging with a reward
Child-like packaging plays a key role not only for “staying healthy” but also “getting healthy” in the first place.
In Great Britain a new stand-up pouch is designed to both ease and sweeten taking medicines for young patients. Applying slight pressure to the packaging the correctly dosed amount of drug can be sucked in through the mouthpiece. And at the end a sweet surprise awaits the little patients in the shape of a teaspoon of honey!
This concept allows children to take their medicines without their parents’ help and be rewarded for it. The pouch is single-use making plastics spoons for dosing superfluous. Originally designed for pharmaceuticals, this concept is to be extended to include other applications in future, too.
Older patients don’t have to open lids or caps.
Reduced weight compared with bottles eases travelling.
Practical option for sport gels or ketchup sachets
As a reward for taking medicine the pouch dispenses sweet honey at the end. Photo: Cambridge Design Partnership