Bubble Wrap popping might be one of life’s most universal pleasures. There is something just so good about it—the sound, the feel, the stress-relieving satisfaction of it.
For the past 45 years, Bubble Wrap has been providing that simple pleasure—while also protecting packages and deliveries, of course—to countless men, women, and children across the U.S. and Western Europe. It has become such a staple that the experience has even gone digital with virtual Bubble Wrap popping websites and apps that are just as addictive as the real thing.
In that light, the public outcry that erupted when the original Bubble Wrap inventor, Sealed Air, announced that it was revamping its design into an inflatable, unpoppable product, is quite understandable. I felt it myself, and so did the makers of the stuff.
“I was the coolest dad in the whole neighborhood when my daughter got to go see Bubble Wrap being made for Science Day,” recalls John Wolf, vice president of General Packaging at Sealed Air. “I was the least cool guy when the article [about the new Bubble Wrap] came out and people were afraid it was going away.”
“We all love the pop,” adds Kim Gillis, global director for the division responsible for the new wrap. “Even the guys internally, they kidded me that I was going to cause stress across the world.”
While we can all certainly relate to this reaction, the truth behind the Bubble Wrap redesign is far less crushing than headlines make it seem. In fact, the product may be just the thing a new generation of manufacturers and retailers all over the world have been waiting for.