For older populations, improved ready-made meal packaging may potentially contribute to adequate nutritional intakes, and in turn facilitate maintenance of independent living. Consequently, a deeper understanding of the features of ready-made meal packages important for older people is a step towards this goal. Features of ready-made meal packaging appreciated by 'current' (aged 65 = years) and 'future' (aged 55-64 years) seniors were studied as an internet survey in Finland (n = 764) and in the Netherlands (n = 457). Only minor significant differences were found between these two senior groups. The four packaging features most valued by both the Finnish and Dutch consumers were: easy readability, easy disposability and recyclability, visibility of the contents, and easy opening. These features were basically the same regardless of age group, gender or country. Older people did not show interest either in multi-packages or in eating meals directly from the package. Future senior men frequently using ready-made meals were identified as a promising target segment for the development and marketing of novel ready-made meals. More generally, special attention should be paid in package design to age-relevant features, such as easy opening and easy-to-read information, and the impact of culture-specific translation of the features into packaging design.
- senior consumers
- food packaging
- ready-made meal
- online data collection
Heiniö, R-L., Arvola, A., Rusko, E., Maaskant, A., & Kremer, S. (2017). Ready-made meal packaging: A survey of needs and wants among Finnish and Dutch 'current' and 'future' seniors. LWT - Food Science and Technology, 79, 579-585. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2016.11.014