Disha’s Diary: Five women talk the packaging talk about FMCG packaging

Disha Chakraborty interacts with five working women who provide an insight about how they use FMCG products on a daily basis. Read to understand what is a sweet spot in packaging and what do users abhor.

05 Sep 2023 | By Disha Chakraborty

Alisha Shaikh, administrative executive, Mumbai

Which is the fastest moving packaged product in your kitchen? 

Since I am a working woman, I cook the lunch in a hurry and pack instant masalas and deploy the most useful meals at the needy hours. The packaging is such that I don't have to transfer it to a different container. The slick shape does not take a lot of space.

What is the best packaged product you have come across?
I just love and always always use Suhana’s instant masalas during an emergency. I think they are the best in times of my urgency

One message you have for the big brands about what more they can do with their packaging?
About packaging my message for the big brands is, they should stop the packaging of items in plastic. Instead they should use some reusable or biodegradable products for packaging. I know that’s complicated to change immediately but till then the packaging should be done at least in sturdy paper bags which can be recycled. Working women like me are happy to pay for the same.

Himangi Patnaik, student, University of Delhi

Which is the fastest moving packaged product in your kitchen? 

In terms of packaged food, milk.

What is the best packaged product you have come across?
Cereals (cornflakes, chocos etc). They come in good packaging and I don't have to put them in a separate container.

One message you have for the big brands about what more they can do with their packaging?
I think zip lock packaging would be the best option. This is because we can lock it back and store it in the packet. As a student, I don't own many dabbas to store them.

Roshni Manghani, photographer, Mumbai

Which is the fastest moving packaged product in your kitchen?

Amul butter. It goes well with most of the breakfast and snacks items that are cooked/made in my kitchen. Plus, the variety of sizes that the Amul brand offers is amazing. A small tub to a brick of butter, seems like thoughtfully designed servings.

What is the best packaged product you have come across?
I am a regular coffee consumer. I keep trying new brands and varieties of coffee. Recently I bought a bag of coffee from Blue Tokai. I'm in love with the package! The aesthetic, the unboxing experience, the ease of storing, using and resealing, everything is commendable. What I loved about this package the most is, the raw paper colour of the packaging that related to the colour of the coffee.

One message you have for the big brands about what more they can do with their packaging?
I feel brands should keep the packaging efficient in terms of usage. And they should have an interactive brand language on the package.

Anoushka Sinha, researcher, Delhi

Which is the fastest moving packaged product in your kitchen?

Recently, I have been trying to incorporate healthier choices into my food regime. Hence, dahi/ yoghurt seems like an easy fix to add an element of freshness on the plate. Be it a simple raita with cucumber, onion, tomatoes and jeera powder, or to elevate any curry for a creamier texture and sour gravy. Just a dollop on the side also works! And of course for marinating anything and everything, which also reminds me another answer to this question could have been all the masalas! Because who has the kind of time to roast, blend and store a plethora of masalas that a variety of South Asian cuisines have gifted us.

What is the best packaged product you have come across?
For this, I would say buttermilk. It is a pretty cheap (and desi) alternative to yakult (which I relished after a meal as something sweet). Buttermilk, while not sweet, is again a refreshing probiotic drink for the summers and overall gut functioning as well. The packaging is similar to milk pouch packets mostly, excluding the Tetra Pak ones, which are at a slightly higher price range. In terms of convenience, the latter can be a better pick while travelling and commuting.

One message you have for the big brands about what more they can do with their packaging?
There exists an entire discourse around the sustainability of packaging of the products that we consume, with global and major brands coming up with environmentally friendly options every day. What remains largely unaddressed within this discourse is the accessibility of such packaging and who can afford it. The demands of sustainable packaging cater to the economy of a class – for those who can pay for it. Naturally, when the target is a consumer class that can order at the whims and fancies of apps, the labour force that sustains these apps and their consumers, also become a product themselves. I cannot comprehend the toil enforced on the people who deliver these packaged products – whose temperature and vaccination details are available to you and me, but none of ours to them.

My point is, sustainable packaging corresponds to an environmental issue and not personal needs or “choice”. Furthermore, environmental issues, as other social distresses, are not individual problems to be solved rather collective battles to be fought.

I believe, sustainable packaging should be a centralised concern, which does not cater to a class in isolation, especially for it to be effective in any manner. Also, if big brands can manage and afford sustainable packaging of all sorts, they can also figure out a way of treating its workforce with dignity and providing sustainable as well as consistent pay. All of this is to say, the labour involved in packaging and its delivery are not a part of the discourse around sustainable packaging.

Dinika Tahilramani, marketing manager, Mumbai

Which is the fastest moving packaged product in your kitchen?

Ever since Maggi has made a wild card entry in the industry, it has been a regular FMCG product in my family.

What is the best packaged product you have come across?
Chocos. Or any pack of cereals as such. Because the packaging in itself is a storage container. You don't have to transfer it to some other container. Plus the recent flexible packages with reclosable locks keep the food moisture free.

One message you have for the big brands about what more they can do with their packaging?
Although plastics have become an inseparable part of our lives, I think brands must try to limit the usage of plastic. Instead of greenwashing they must invest in a solution. This  is essential at this point. 


If you have a packaging experience to share, please contact: Disha Chakraborty | disha.chakraborty@haymarketsac.com

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

22.22%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

11.11%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

16.67%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

50.0%

Total Votes : 18

Events

Drupa 2024

May 28 - Jun 07 2024
The Drupa exhibition will be hosted....