Know-how in packaging

Masanori Sato Food Research & Development  Institute

Morinaga Milk carefully listens to consumer comments as we develop and improve product packaging. One example of consumer comments leading to a change in packaging is our use of the "lotus coating" on the lid of yogurt containers. This coating prevents the yogurt in the container from adhering to the underside of the lid. As the name suggests, the coating imitates the water repellency of lotus leaves. The development work for this packaging change was done in cooperation with a package manufacturer.

Much time and effort were needed to create a high quality lid that both protects the product and prevents the yogurt from adhering to lid’s underside. It was also necessary to consider the Japanese regulations regarding proper heat resistance and seal integrity of the packaging. Before using this type of lid on products sold on the market, we conducted many tests on prototype lids. The tests ranged from trial production to transport tests. Nonetheless success was achieved.

Our development work on this coating began because of consumer comments such as "Yogurt that stuck on the lid splashed onto my clothes." and "We must rinse the lids before throwing them away. This is troublesome." Now we use the new-coated lids on some of our Morinaga Milk Aloe Yogurt products. I am watching consumer comments about the new type of coated lid so I can carefully plan extending usage of these lids to other yogurt products.

Some of our developments and improvements are so small that consumers don’t even notice, but other changes are quite obvious. Whenever I hear a consumer saying, "The product is better!" I am motivated to make more improvements. One of my colleagues jokingly said, "We have lost the pleasure of licking the yogurt off the lid!" It is difficult to predict what comments will be made about our products, but it is certain we will receive quite a variety of comments. I wonder what comments will come next. Certainly I am a bit anxious, but I look forward to responding to those comments by making our products even better.

Comparison of conventional and lotus coating packaging

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