Sealed Air, the ethereally named company making sure your packages travel safely, has witnessed something incredibly sad over the past few years. As fancier methods of cushioning have proliferated, the sales of their most beloved product have dropped. Retailers just don’t like bubble wrap anymore.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bubble Wrap, invented in 1957 and probably the closest humans will ever get to experiencing what popping a robot’s pimples would be like, made up only 3.6 percent of Sealed Air’s sales in 2012. Despite the fact that it is the only packaging material to double as entertainment, modern musical performance, and a stress-relieving shrink — Sealed Air employees have received stress boxes that dole out miniature sheets of the popping plastic — retailers complain that it is too bulky and too expensive to bother buying.
Sealed Air has responded to this tragedy by designing a new Bubble Wrap that doesn’t pop. Besides being cheaper and taking up less space, Sealed Air appears to have converted to the religion of Apple in the hopes that it will make the new product blessed. It is called iBubble Wrap, its Rice Krispies–esque melodies replaced by bubbles that transfer air between one another so they never deflate.
Sealed Air plans on still selling the original Bubble Wrap for the time being, so stock up if you want the children of tomorrow to experience the greatest toy that humanity has ever devised. And, if nothing else, we’ll always have Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, celebrated that last Monday of January, which will hopefully one day become a Bloomsday-style affair featuring live readings of The Bubble Wrap Book soundtracked with the dulcet crunch of bubbles.