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Packaging holiday problems.

What in the world does Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup have to do with cell phones and children's toys? The answers:

1-Packages that make work when they should save it add to holiday stress.

2-Packages that don't help shoppers understand what they need and how to use the product add more stress.

Campbell's Soup has won new soup customers with pop-top cans that many find great timesavers. The ones who don't think they are so great include heavy holiday users who used to be able to slide solidified soup cylinders into their green bean and leftover turkey and ham casseroles in the blink of an eye.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* "A yucky mess getting the cream soups out!"

* "Campbell's soup- especially 'cream' varieties, no longer slide out of the can. Now we need a spatula to get it out. A real pain, not a time saver and not convenient, especially for super-busy holiday meals!"

* "Cream soups don't want to come out of these cans."

Forget the instant slide! Cream soups in flip-top cans have to be extracted with a spoon! This is work that one of our shoppers described as "time-consuming and gloppy. (A new "Fat Albert" movie being released in theaters this month describes the cans as having built-in can openers.)

Many children's toys are packaged in ways that frustrate parents as well as kids. Parents tell us that some toy packages are so hard to understand that kids lose interest in the toy or game inside before they even get to it. They even believe that producers order the packages designed to self-destruct in the course of opening so the parents will be unable or unwilling to return the toy or game inside to the store.

Electronics are the worst because so many shoppers find the plastic blister packages really hard to open and/or don't really understand what they are buying..

* "I blame the stores for selling stuff with such uninformative and hard to use packages."

* "Electronics are impossible to return with the packaging intact."

* "Blister packs, especially for small electronics, can be difficult and even dangerous to open."

* "Electronics: Sony radio/CD and tape player-numbers and signs too hard to read."

* "Digital still camera - instructions too complicated."

Happy Holidays! Mona Doyle
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Doyle, Mona
Publication:The Shopper Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:373
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