Those of you who love the “pop, pop, pop” of Bubble Wrap may want to stockpile a few rolls.  Sealed Air Corp., the predominant manufacturer of the packing material, is introducing a new product that will have the same protection, but not their signature sound.

The compressed air that makes the addictive noise has a down side: it takes up space.  A lot of space actually.  And space equates to money, both to ship it in giant rolls and then to store it in warehouses before it is used.  So the company is introducing iBubble, inflated on-site with a special pump.  The result:  one truckload of the new wrap equals 47 truckloads of Bubble Wrap.  You don’t have to be a math genius to calculate that there would be substantial savings.

Bubble Wrap may have been innovative when it hit the scene in 1960, but with today’s technology and cost-consciousness, it is becoming a relic.  I think it’s good for business that they are redesigning their products, even if it is sad for the end users.

It reminds me of my blog last week when I wondered about the fine line between tradition and becoming a rut.  The same is true with products. When is something a classic vs. outdated?  I think you can tell by the price; the value of classics goes up while the outdated is given away.  I predict that you may want to save up a few rolls of the noisy stuff before you have to pay a premium to get it from a vintage store!

— beth triplett

Source:  Bubble Wrap Loses Its Pop by Loretta Chao, Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2015, p. B1

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