A smiley face in a partially opened zipper bag. The bag has a clasp on the zipper to help close it.

A Slide Lock Bag Sealing System Could Make A Big Difference

Last updated: February 2021

My hands hurt.  One thing that RA/RD has impacted is my hands. My fingers regularly swell and small object manipulation is nearly impossible. 

I practice doing these manipulations by building K’nex models, but my hands hurt and I cannot manipulate small things. This issue is commonly discussed in RA/RD communities and on Twitter in the rheumatology communities.

Difficult packaging

Generally, what I need are products that work, are easy on my hands, and allow me to do an activity with minimal help from others. What I do not need are products that will not work with my sore hands. 

I have one in mind: the company makes terrific frozen vegetables. They come in a resealable plastic bag. The idea is that the user can dispense what they need and return the remainder to the freezer for another day. The ability to use a product and then return it to the freezer is great for people with arthritis. That makes the product a win-win for me.

I can't seal the lip of the bag

Except, it is not at all a win-win because I cannot close the bag. No matter how much I try to get the lip of the seal in the groove, I cannot do it. It might as well not be there for all the good it does me. I have asked others to seal the bag, and they also have difficulty, but they can get it done. I cannot, and I love said product.

As I have worked on weight loss these last five years, my go-to snack is often hot vegetables. Last week, I had them four times because, after dinner, I was still hungry. (I use WW as my food program, and most steamed vegetables are treated like a zero point food). Vegetables are a great way to stem hunger while still staying within the program limits. But program or not, I love these frozen vegetables.

A need for more accessible packaging design

The company that packages this product is a large multinational company with dozens of brands and thousands of outlets.  The chances are good that you have likely consumed at least one of their offerings in the last 48 hours if you live in North America.  The chances are good that you would find something they package for human consumption in your kitchen if you looked hard enough.

What you will not find from this company is a frozen vegetable package that is easy to close after it is used. Come to think of it, the bags are difficult to get open in the first place, but I will take the extra security on the packaging to ensure the product is not tampered with in shipment.

Other manufacturers have the same issue

It is not just this manufacturer that needs to adopt easier ways to close bags in the kitchen. I looked in our pantry and found three more products from different manufacturers with the press-to-clasp system. We used a product, and it is so tricky to seal that we bought storage containers because we (Sheryl nor I) could reseal.

Incorporating a slide lock sealing system

There is a solution, and yes, it might affect the cost of the product. In fact, the answer could be a marketing opportunity if a manufacturer were to adopt it. The slide lock bag sealing system adds a small clasp that runs on a track and seals the bag.

Listen up, vegetable manufacturers. I know it is not easy to distinguish your product from store brands. This is a way to do it for a small cost, and I predict lots of fumbling finger people would gladly pay the cost difference. Think about it: you could even be a preferred brand of the Arthritis Foundation.

Come on frozen food manufacturers, step it up

So frozen vegetable manufacturers, why not get in on the action and produce bags with a slide seal feature? I promise if you do, I will write a review here praising your forward-thinking and support your application for inclusion on the Arthritis Foundation's ease-of-use list.  So come on, frozen foods producers! Let us get on the A-train to ease-of-use. Being first is very cool.

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