AN easy-open cup for pureed fruit has won Australian food producer SPC an international packaging award.
The Australian first innovation was recognised for the design of its accessible food packaging solution.
The packaging was developed to address the key issue contributing to rates of poor patient nutrition within hospitals across Australia.
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Years of research prompted SPC to commission the project which led to the easy-to-open cups.
Design features include a textured and lengthened pull tab for easier grip, clear instructions for opening, a decagon shape for easier grip, and an optimised seal to reduce force.
SPC engaged design and packaging suppliers using guidelines provided by NSW Health and Arthritis Australia.
SPC category marketing manager ProVital, Chris Deed, said the issue of packaging accessibility was becoming more and more prominent in society as the population ages.
“For us, having our range receive the highest possible accessibility rating from Arthritis Australia of +8, with 95 per cent of the population reporting an easy-to-open product is one thing – but to be recognised by the WPO with an award of this stature, is something that makes the journey so worthwhile,” Mr Deed said.
HealthShare NSW Clinical Support Services executive director, Carmen Rechbauer, said it was essential the packaging of food served in hospital was easier for patients to open in order to support their nutrition outcomes.
“Easy open packaging not only contributes to improved nutrition in hospitals, but it also allows our most vulnerable patients to retain their independence and dignity by easily accessing their own food,” Ms Rechbauer said.
SPC’s Mr Deed said his team was particularly proud of the innovation as it represented how industry, supplier and corporate collaboration could result in increased efficiency for customers.
SPC ProVital products are currently available through hospitals and aged care facilities, with further plans for expansion.