These are a few of my favourite packaging things problems

Who better than a homemaker to suspect the conspiracy theories by the FMCG giants? Read what consumers have to say about packaging.

19 May 2023 | By Disha Chakraborty

Disha Chakraborty of WhatPackaging? talks to packaging consumers and shares interesting inputs

Spoke to a lamitube manufacturer. The product development manager says, notice the holes. Because the holes to discharge toothpaste have been increased to ensure customers use more paste per tooth brush; therefore more revenue for the toothpaste brands.

It's true.

For the past years, a new Colgate toothpaste gives more product than required. Even a gentle squeeze, and I end up wasting as it spills into the basin.

Also, toothbrush bristles are no longer as long as they show in the well-shot TV ads which make us believe that this is what happens to your teeth and gums.

My cousin taught me a trick, few years ago. To get maximum, squeeze the tube at the bottom. So, when you begin using a new paste, and if you deploy this trick, you end up getting more over the lifetime of the tube. Still, during its final days, we cut the bottom and find content for a minimum of three times.

My Ma loves cookware and cutlery. Even if she does not require or can't buy, she will always explore these sections when she visits exhibitions (another thing which she loves) or Dmart. One of her weaknesses is tea cups and coffee mugs.

So my Ma was telling me that many more biscuit flavours have been launched. But the circumference size of biscuits is being altered. Therefore consumers are having to invest in new jars and new bottles.

I asked her if this is one of her conspiracy theories. She said no.

We sat down with her collection of jars and bottles, and she demonstrated her biscuit experiment.

Our findings are as follows.

Yes, Marie biscuit has reduced its circumference

Also, you can't keep squared-size and round-size biscuits in the same jar. Another problem is cream-filled biscuit (eg. Bourbon is in a rectangle and Oreo is rectangle-shaped).

The other thing Ma pointed out is 3/10 or 3/8 is in crumbs when you open the packet.

To-date I have still not figured out a right way to open the packet, so I end up tearing the package. And when you rip open the packet, the biscuit piece is in smithereens and the packet is falling apart. I feel like I am what-his-face re-living a Matrix moment in slow-mo.

Ma has a solution. When she has to serve a plate to guests, she purchases two small packets. And you need a jar with a tight lid. Locally manufactured jars may not be good each and every time, so she ends up buying Milton or Borosil.

Now to my favourite two-minute paisa vasool. I was told Nestle benefits from the low-unit packs (priced at Rs 7) since it contains less noodles (in terms of price / volume ratio) than the high unit pack. But who cares!

I know Maggi small packets contain less but I prefer that. Not because of minimalism. Because when I am hungry, I can consume the entire pack instead of storing the remnants - storage headache.

And finally, Ma shared an interesting insight about soaps. She says, most Indians don't know how to soap their body (the correct way is: you create the soap lather with your hand; and then soap your body). Which is why the soap-usage average is so high among the average middle-class Indian. And no wonder soaps are such a growth segment; and so many soaps among the Rs 1000 cr brands in the WP? magazine list.


Tags : Disha's Diary
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The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?


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

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