product experience

A Day in a Life With Consumer Non-Durables

July 1, 2014
by Jason Robertson

Research shows that we spend on average 30 minutes every weekday cleaning[1] and, in total, about 18 hours a week[2] doing housework. 30 minutes a weekday! 18 hours per week! About half of you are shocked either by how high or low those numbers are, but my favorite part about that they’re averages which means half the people reading this are saying, “suckers! I spend way less time than that!”
Regardless, we all spend about half as much time doing housework today as we did 50 years ago. You know why? It’s because of Consumer Non-Durables (CNDs). CNDs are all of the single or few-use products—all those little innovations—that make our lives just a little better at a time—the Swiffer (you’re welcome), convenience food packaging, etc.—all of those innovations have added up to save us 26 hours a week just on housework.
Here’s the kicker: CNDs permeate our lives. They impact our life at home, at work, in the car, in the grocery store, even walking down the street with a to-go drink. They give us time back to more important things like play with our kids or watch Game of Thrones. They make our lives better in hundreds of little but amazing ways like making our food spoil more slowly.
I love designing Consumer Non-Durables; they’re the unsung heroes of daily life. I’m freshly back from talking and learning about CNDs at a packaging conference. Below is the story of April and how they impact her daily life. How many of these things do you use? How many more do you use? What do you do with your extra time?

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