The following is from the Jan. 18, 2008, edition of The Ottawa Citizen. Professor Daniel Howard, chair of the Marketing Department in the Cox School of Business, provided expertise for this story.

Consumers find unopenable product packaging all the rage

By Daniel Drolet
Citizen Special

People are calling it "wrapper rage."

It's the anger that builds up as you struggle to get a store-bought item out of its hermetically sealed plastic packaging. The struggle usually starts with bare hands and graduates to cursing, tears and a range of sharp implements.

There's a lot of wrapper rage going around these days. In fact, people who encountered it at Christmas are still nursing their wounds. . .

Daniel Howard is the chairman of the marketing department at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Recently, he conducted a survey of households about packaging. Nearly 80 per cent of the respondents "expressed anger, frustration or outright rage" with plastic packaging materials.

So Mr. Howard says manufacturers know consumers are frustrated. But he says they make packaging difficult to open largely because they are afraid of lawsuits that could result if a product had been tampered with, and because they are afraid of "shrinkage," the retail euphemism for theft.

He says companies don't have any financial incentive to make packages easier to open. Yet.

Read the full story.

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