Design Futures’ Dr Alaster Yoxall discusses food packaging in the NHS

Wrap Rage: Food Openability

Update: Alaster’s work was featured in Elite Business where the finding of his research found that 20% of the older age group will switch brands rather than struggle to open a carton or bottle.

Healthcare catering operators, NHS buyers and suppliers are being urged to use their influence to help make food and drink packs easier to open. A coalition of caterers, NHS staff, dietitians, suppliers, academics and patients is encouraging the catering industry to get behind moves to make single-portion food and drink packs easier to open. Dr Alaster Yoxall, principal research fellow in Hallam’s Design Futures, was interviewed by Cost Sector Catering to discuss the issues.

“We might think the problem is trivial, but 63% of the 73 million single-portion packaging purchased is unopenable – that’s 44 million items. If it takes on average 20 seconds to help someone open each of these items, it would take about 250,000 work hours or 11,000 work days for the whole 44 million. As well as the economic cost, packaging that’s difficult to open can also mean patient dissatisfaction and lead to poor nutrition.”
Dr Alaster Yoxall

Read the full interview here.

Dr Alaster Yoxall is Principal Research Fellow in Human Centered Engineering and is based in Design Futures within the Art & Design Research Centre.