Knowing your rights as a consumer

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Knowing your rights as a consumer Powered By Docstoc
					A sizable segment of the packaging industry revolves around the food
industries in which multi-dimensional packaging is essentially service-
based and functionally a system used to allow a manufacturer or a
supplier to deliver products safely and with preserved top quality to the
consumer at the lowest of cost as possible to the manufacturer.

Functions of Packaging
   The finished form of any type of packaging is influenced by a lot of
factors, but logic behind the type of packaging utilized can be achieved
by considering various packaging criteria, of which there are five:
appearance, protection, cost , function and disposability.

1. Appearance
   The domination of supermarkets and grocery stores as distributors of
food products means that appearance has a significant importance in
getting the consumer's attention and thus converting into a sale.
Ideally, the package has to represent the product's character and be
easily recognized by the consumer. It also has to contain information of
the ingredients used to meet legal requirements and also proper
instructions for its use and display the product's reasonable price.
Basically, packaging must carry a maximum effectiveness as sales aids in
order to stimulate the customer's desire to purchase them.

2. Physical Protection
   Protection required by products differs according to the nature of the
product itself, its final destination, the distribution system it
undergoes, and the total time frame that protection requires.

-Compression, Impact and Vibration
   All packages must be able to endure the distribution stress that will
be encountered in the course of different distribution systems.
Compression arises from improper stacking in transportation or storing.
If the stacking is unstable, the the risk of damage to the goods is high
and so is compromising the product's shelf life. The potential for
contamination also rises. Majority of dairy goods are fragile and must be
protected to maintain product quality.
   Damage can result from mishandling of the package, causing leakage and
resulting in inlets for moisture to spoil the food product, thus,
contaminating the product.
   Vibration can cause a lot of problems, from abrasion of the outside of
the packaging to breakage of its contents. So we can say that the package
plays a vital role as a cushion in the transport of sensitive products.

-Temperature and Lighting Effects
   Two major factors to consider in packaging systems are protecting the
product against environmental factors, of which temperature is more
significant. High temperature effects on a product are usually more
serious than low temperature effects. Products that are likely to be
negatively affected by high temperatures includes chocolates, which
soften, melt and becomes unsellable, fish which rapidly develops a strong
off-odor and then becomes inedible; and frozen foods, which thaw out, and
then deteriorate biologically after.

   This category of macro-organisms includes rodents and insects. In
addition to the loss of product by being eaten by these organisms, there
are added loses associated with the contamination of the remaining

3. Function
   The package functions of containing products can be those that concern
the end user; ease of opening, display, dispensing and convenience.
Package function involves behavior on the packaging line; rigidity of the
container and the container weight.

4. Cost
   Packaging should present the minimum overall cost to the manufacturer
but not at the expense of underperforming in the function required,
characteristics and properties. Costs include not only the packaging
material itself but also the labor, time, materials, transport, and lost
product due to failed packaging.
A cheaper package may be less expensive in overall costs but, due to
inferior performance, may cause losses of products and customers.

5. Disposability
   The disposal of packaging and its influence on general waste disposal
and gathering methods must also be a major focus. The unnecessary use of
valuable resources must be reduced as greatly as possible. Waste
reduction and management of natural resources must be a priority of the
manufacturers and the government in order to secure an economically and
environmentally sustainable future.

We all hope that the information delivered in this article can aid
consumers in the safe purchasing of packaged goods based on the five
mentioned factors before buying a product. For even if a packaged product
seems not to have sustained any observable damage before it is opened ,
other irregularities discussed in this article may become evident
following its opening.