Newsroom

What does the future of packaging look like post-pandemic?

Industry expert, Philip Weinman, takes a close look at the packaging industry and the leaps that need to be made.

2020 is fast becoming the year that no one will forget. The spread of COVID-19 has triggered an avalanche of change across the globe, a change that has plunged our world into an economic crisis. With almost every sector and industry severely impacted, some of the most powerful countries in the world are heading towards a recession. These are undeniably uncertain and frightening times, however, such moments in history can be an opportunity for success and transformation.

In the race to innovate during the pandemic, the packaging sector is emerging as a front-runner to revolutionise the current ‘status quo’. As stores closed during the lockdown, the e-commerce marketplace has boomed and consumer demand for safe and durable packaging has soared. With lightning speed, the packaging industry has adapted to meet new consumer trends and has placed itself in a position destined to thrive.

Laying the foundation for growth

As news about the virus escalated, fear mounted. This fear impacted consumers across the globe and provoked acute emotional buying behaviours. Panic buying of groceries, pharmaceuticals and health care items occurred as anxiety about an impending lockdown increased. The packaging industry initially benefited from this increase in demand. Grocery stores and other providers of essential products struggled to restock their shelves. Manufacturers of hot commodity items such as toilet paper, gloves, tinned foods etc., increased their production outputs or pivoted into creating new product lines to meet local and global demands.

The closing of traditional brick-and-mortar stores reduced the revenue of many companies but also forced people to shop online. E-commerce platforms saw a notable hike in sales for home appliances, cosmetics and other non-grocery items. In the U.S. alone, online purchases increased by 49% in April compared to the previous month when quarantine was first implemented.

Case study: Food Industry

The pandemic demonstrated how important it is for businesses to adapt. Those that failed to adjust to the rapid adoption of online purchasing suffered. The foodservice industry is a prime example of this: the suspension of dining in restaurants and cafes forced businesses to change their product offering and start offering delivery or takeaway services.

As restaurants and cafes closed, a new trend in consumer sentiment towards food purchasing began to emerge. Consumer preference shifted to pre-packaged fresh foods that did not carry transmission risk. Health and protection became paramount and packaging which was hygiene focussed was sought. Single-use plastic packaging was back in demand as consumers wanted reassurance that the food they purchased had not been touched or come into contact with the virus. Sustainable and eco-friendly packaging was no longer desired. Packaging that ensured product protection and consumer safety first was the primary aim.

Quarantine regulations have necessitated the expansion of disposable cutlery and other food-handling items in the food sector. This was primarily to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of staff and customers. Failure to comply would severely impact operations, especially if the staff became ill.

The shift away from dine-in menus to ‘production’ kitchens further contributed to the expansion of single-use plastic. Takeaway food and re-heatable home meals require packaging that needs to meet safety requirements, as well as ensure the food tastes as good as eating at the establishment.

Demand for takeaway style boxes, labels and cartons increased as home delivery food services were utilised and packaging that ensured food was protected and safe was attractive. Whilst the pandemic has caused sustainable packaging to falter, cafes and restaurants are seeking more hygienic and eco-friendly alternatives.

Rise of online solutions

The increase of takeaway orders created a dependency on third-party delivery services. Cafes and restaurants flocked to UberEats, Deliveroo and other providers to get immediate access to an online marketplace of customers. Whilst high commission rates and unfavourable policies detracted some users, most have accepted that offering this service via an e-commerce portal is vital to the future of their business. As more businesses bring their delivery in-house, companies will incorporate their branding on containers, bags, etc. to ensure a holistic customer experience.

Even the packaging industry itself is not immune to the online marketplace effect. Companies seeking packaging materials optimised for home deliveries are increasingly turning to the web. Suppliers of packaging products will undoubtedly lose sales opportunities by remaining offline and adapting as buying behaviour changes.

Leveraging the new ‘status quo’

Panic buying behaviours, new products and the growing confidence of purchasing online have led to a greater demand for packaging materials. Whilst it is likely that some consumers will return to physical retail beyond COVID-19, it is expected that the change in purchasing behaviour will continue for the long term as consumers have adjusted to the online marketplace and prefer the safety and convenience it offers. The value of packaging will only continue to grow as will the demand for effective e-commerce packaging solutions as more consumers turn to the online marketplace for everyday purchases. Work is already underway to produce packaging which is anti-viral and antiseptic or is printed with a QR code which can be scanned with a smartphone and provide details of handling.

The world may have changed and may never be the same again, yet there is always an opportunity to innovate in the time of a crisis. 2020 may be the year we will never forget and the year we all encountered change, but it is also a year that highlighted the importance of adaptation. The packaging industry has demonstrated its ability to adapt. It is perfectly placed to re-inject confidence into consumerism and contribute to our recovery beyond the pandemic.

Published: 19 June 2020 by WhaTech

Published: 19 June 2020 by Business Daily Media

Published: 7 July 2020 by anthill

Sign Up

Sign Up / Suppliers

Select
  • Equipment - Bag
  • Equipment - Corrugated
  • Equipment - Cushioning
  • Equipment - Food Service
  • Equipment - Foam In Place
  • Equipment - Films
  • Equipment - Label
  • Equipment - Material Handling
  • Equipment - Printer
  • Equipment - Strapping
  • Equipment - Tape
  • Equipment - Stretch
  • Equipment - Packaging
  • Food Service - Container
  • Food Service - Cups
  • Food Service - Cultery
  • Food Service - Dispenser
  • Food Service - Edible
  • Food Service - Foil And Film
  • Food Service - Napkins
  • Food Service - Plate
  • Food Service - Supplies
  • Food Service - Tray
  • Food Service - Papers
  • Material Handling - Cart
  • Material Handling - Crate
  • Material Handling - Cutter
  • Material Handling - Canopy
  • Material Handling - Pallet
  • Material Handling - Rack/Shelf
  • Material Handling - Table/Workbench
  • Material Handling - Handtruck
  • Material Handling - Plastic Bins
  • Material Handling - Bulk Containers
  • Material Handling - Drums
  • Material Handling - Lids For Drums/Pails
  • Material Handling - Pails
  • Material Handling - Pallet Jack
  • Material Handling - Plastic Pallet
  • Material Handling - Wood Pallet New
  • Material Handling - Wood Pallet Used
  • Material Handling - Platform Truck
  • Material Handling - Lighting, Industrial
  • Office Supplies - Apparal
  • Office Supplies - Computer Paper
  • Office Supplies - Copy Paper
  • Office Supplies - Envelope
  • Office Supplies - Hardware(Cabinets,Desks,Lighting)
  • Office Supplies - Fine Paper
  • Office Supplies - Stationery (Envelopes, Fine Paper, Etc)
  • Office Supplies - Storage (Folders, Pendeflex, Etc)
  • Office Supplies - Supplies
  • Office Supplies - Toner/Ink/Ribbon
  • Office Supplies - Desk Supplies (Pens,Markers,Clips,Post-Its,Etc)
  • Office Supplies - Folders
  • Office Supplies - Markers And Pens
  • Office Supplies - Tape
  • Shipping Supplies - Adhesive (Glue)
  • Shipping Supplies - Cutter
  • Shipping Supplies - Envelope
  • Shipping Supplies - Marker
  • Shipping Supplies - Pack List Envelope
  • Shipping Supplies - Paint
  • Shipping Supplies - Trucking Security Accs
  • Shipping Supplies - Storage
  • Shipping Supplies - Stencil
  • Shipping Supplies - Stapler & Staples
  • Shipping Supplies - Supplies (Markers, Rubberbands, Stencils, Etc)
  • Shipping Supplies - Tags
  • Shipping Supplies - Tube (Open End Tubes, Spiral Wound, Tri-Tubes)
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Services - Do Not Use
  • Custom Equipment - Bag
  • Custom Equipment - Corrugated
  • Custom Equipment - Cushioning
  • Custom Equipment - Food Service
  • Custom Equipment - Foam In Place
  • Custom Equipment - Films
  • Custom Equipment - Label
  • Custom Equipment - Material Handling
  • Custom Equipment - Printer
  • Custom Equipment - Strapping
  • Custom Equipment - Tape
  • Custom Equipment - Stretch
  • Custom Equipment - Packaging
  • Custom Material - Cart
  • Custom Material - Crate
  • Custom Material - Cutter
  • Custom Material - Canopy
  • Custom Material - Pallet
  • Custom Material - Rack/Shelf
  • Custom Material - Table/Workbench
  • Custom Material - Handtruck
  • Custom Material - Plastic Bins
  • Custom Material - Bulk Containers
  • Custom Material - Drums
  • Custom Material - Lids For Drums/Pails
  • Custom Material - Pails
  • Custom Material - Pallet Jack
  • Custom Material - Plastic Pallet
  • Custom Material - Wood Pallet New
  • Custom Material - Wood Pallet Used
  • Custom Material - Platform Truck
  • Custom Material - Lighting, Industrial
  • Custom Material - Tube
  • Custom Food Service - Container
  • Custom Food Service - Cups
  • Custom Food Service - Cultery
  • Custom Food Service - Dispenser
  • Custom Food Service - Edible
  • Custom Food Service - Foil And Film
  • Custom Food Service - Napkins
  • Custom Food Service - Plate
  • Custom Food Service - Supplies
  • Custom Food Service - Tray
  • Custom Food Service - Papers
  • Custom Office Supplies - Apparal
  • Custom Office Supplies - Computer Paper
  • Custom Office Supplies - Copy Paper
  • Custom Office Supplies - Envelope
  • Custom Office Supplies - Hardware(Cabinets,Desks,Lighting)
  • Custom Office Supplies - Fine Paper
  • Custom Office Supplies - Stationery (Envelopes, Fine Paper, Etc)
  • Custom Office Supplies - Stationery (Folders, Pendeflex, Etc)
  • Custom Office Supplies - Supplies
  • Custom Office Supplies - Toner/Ink
  • Custom Office Supplies - Desk Supplies (Pens,Markers,Clips,Post-Its,Etc)
  • Custom Office Supplies - Folders
  • Custom Office Supplies - Markers And Pens
  • Custom Office Supplies - Tape
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Adhesive (Glue)
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Cutter
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Envelope
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Marker
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Pack List Envelope
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Do Not Use
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Storage
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Stencil
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Do Not Use
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Supplies (Markers, Rubberbands, Stencils, Etc)
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Tags
  • Custom Shipping Supplies - Tube (Open End Tubes, Spiral Wound, Tri-Tubes)
  • Custom Plastic - Misc
  • Custom Fulfillment - Misc
  • Art - General
  • Tooling - General
  • Freight - General
  • Miscellaneous - General
  • Proofs - General
  • Sample - General
  • Setup - General
  • Cutting Die - General
  • Plates - General
  • Boxes - Stock - Corrugated
  • Boxes - Stock - Chipboard
  • Boxes - Stock - Eco Paper
  • Boxes - Custom - Corrugated
  • Boxes - Custom - Plastic Corrugated
  • Boxes - Custom - Chipboard
  • Boxes - Custom - Eco Paper
  • Boxes - Custom - Plastic Film
  • Boxes - Custom - Honeycomb
  • Boxes - Custom - Plastic Film Laminated To Corrugated
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Accessories
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Antistatic Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Barrier Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Bubble Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Foam Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Mailer Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Pallet Cover
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Paper Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Poly Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Sheeting
  • Bags And Pouches - Stock - Tubing
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Accessories
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Antistatic Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Barrier Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Bubble Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Foam Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Mailer Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Pallet Cover
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Paper Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Poly Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Shrink Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Specialty Bags
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Sheeting
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Tubing
  • Bags And Pouches - Custom - Wrap
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Paper
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Bubble
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Inflatable
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Foam
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Foam In Place Chemical
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Vapor Corrosion Inhibiting (Vci)
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Plastic
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Molded Fiber
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Natural Biodegradeable
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Stock - Plastic Film Adhered To Corrugated
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Paper
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Bubble
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Inflatable
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Foam
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Vapor Corrosion Inhibiting (Vci)
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Plastic
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Molded Fiber
  • Cushioning And Dunnage - Custom - Plastic Film Adhered To Corrugated
  • Tape - Stock - Adhesive Transfer Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Box Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Paper Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Masking Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Cellophane Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Cloth Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Double Coated Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Duct Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Electrical Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Esd/Antistat Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Foam Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Label Protection Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Security Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Special Use Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Filament Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Teflon Tape
  • Tape - Stock - Vinyl Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Adhesive Transfer Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Box Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Paper Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Masking Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Cellophane Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Cloth Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Double Coated Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Duct Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Electrical Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Esd/Antistat Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Foam Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Label Protection Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Security Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Special Use Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Filament Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Teflon Tape
  • Tape - Custom - Vinyl Tape
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Stock - Corrugated
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Stock - Plastic Corrugated
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Stock - Chipboard
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Stock - Honeycomb
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Stock - Plastic Film
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Stock - Foam Board
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Custom - Corrugated
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Custom - Plastic Corrugated
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Custom - Chipboard
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Custom - Honeycomb
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Custom - Plastic Film
  • Pads, Partitions And Inserts - Custom - Foam Board
  • Film - Stock - Stretch Film
  • Film - Stock - Shrink Film
  • Film - Stock - Other Film
  • Film - Custom - Stretch Film
  • Film - Custom - Shrink Film
  • Film - Custom - Other Film
  • Label - Stock - Blank
  • Label - Stock - Printed
  • Label - Stock - Signage
  • Label - Custom - Blank
  • Label - Custom - Printed
  • Label - Custom - Signage
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Stock - Jars
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Stock - Bottles
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Stock - Cap
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Stock - Lid
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Stock - Tube
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Stock - Tin
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Stock - Jug
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Custom - Jars
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Custom - Bottles
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Custom - Cap
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Custom - Lids
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Custom - Tube
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Custom - Tin
  • Jars, Bottles, Tins And Closures - Custom - Jug
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Custom - Area Protection
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Custom - Clothing
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Custom - Gloves
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Custom - Head, Eye & Face Protection
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Custom - Hearing Protection
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Custom - Respiratory Protection
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Stock - Area Protection
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Stock - Protective Clothing
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Stock - First Aid
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Stock - Gloves
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Stock - Head, Eye & Face Protection
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Stock - Hearing Protection
  • Personal Protection And Safety - Stock - Respiratory Protection
  • Strapping - Stock - Strapping Bailing Wire
  • Strapping - Stock - Strapping Buckle
  • Strapping - Stock - Cable Tie
  • Strapping - Stock - Plastic Strapping
  • Strapping - Stock - Steel Strapping
  • Strapping - Stock - Seal
  • Strapping - Stock - Twine
  • Strapping - Stock - Cord Strapping
  • Strapping - Stock - Strapping Accessory
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Cleaning Products
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Bathroom Supplies
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Brooms Brushes And Mops
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Cloths And Pads
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Air Fresheners
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Sanitizers
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Dispensers
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Paper Products
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Hand Soaps
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Pest Control
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Lubricants
  • Cleaning And Janitorial Supplies - Stock - Solvents
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Batteries, Chargers And Testers
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Calendars, Posters And Pamphlets
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Containers, Files And Folders
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Furniture And Lights
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Glue And Correctors
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Notepads, Boards And Journals
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Paper And Envelopes
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Pens And Pencils
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Printer Inks, Ribbons And Cartridges
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Staples, Clips And Fasteners
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Stock - Tape Measures, Rulers And Desk Tools
  • Material Handling - Custom - Bulk Liquid Storage Tote
  • Material Handling - Custom - Carts
  • Material Handling - Custom - Cases
  • Material Handling - Custom - Conveyor
  • Material Handling - Custom - Crates
  • Material Handling - Custom - Hand Trucks
  • Material Handling - Custom - Loading Platforms
  • Material Handling - Custom - Pallets
  • Material Handling - Custom - Pallet Jacks
  • Material Handling - Custom - Racking
  • Material Handling - Custom - Recycling And Trash Bins
  • Material Handling - Custom - Storage Bins
  • Material Handling - Custom - Storage Drums
  • Material Handling - Custom - Work Tables
  • Material Handling - Stock - Bulk Liquid Storage Tote
  • Material Handling - Stock - Carts
  • Material Handling - Stock - Cases
  • Material Handling - Stock - Conveyor
  • Material Handling - Stock - Crates
  • Material Handling - Stock - Hand Trucks
  • Material Handling - Stock - Loading Platforms
  • Material Handling - Stock - Pallets
  • Material Handling - Stock - Pallet Jacks
  • Material Handling - Stock - Racking
  • Material Handling - Stock - Recycling And Trash Bins
  • Material Handling - Stock - Storage Bins
  • Material Handling - Stock - Storage Drums
  • Material Handling - Stock - Work Tables And Benches
  • Food Service - Custom - Food Service Containers
  • Food Service - Custom - Cold Shipping
  • Food Service - Custom - Utensils
  • Food Service - Custom - Edible
  • Food Service - Custom - Food Film And Foil
  • Food Service - Custom - Napkins
  • Food Service - Custom - Food Packaging Containers
  • Food Service - Custom - Serving Plates And Bowls
  • Food Service - Custom - Cups
  • Food Service - Custom - Lids
  • Food Service - Custom - Food Service Paper Products
  • Food Service - Stock - Food Service Containers
  • Food Service - Stock - Cold Shipping
  • Food Service - Stock - Utensils
  • Food Service - Stock - Edible
  • Food Service - Stock - Food Film And Foil
  • Food Service - Stock - Napkins
  • Food Service - Stock - Food Packaging Containers
  • Food Service - Stock - Serving Plates And Bowls
  • Food Service - Stock - Cups
  • Food Service - Stock - Lids
  • Food Service - Stock - Food Service Paper Products
  • Shipping Supplies - Custom - Desiccant
  • Shipping Supplies - Custom - Mailing Tubes
  • Shipping Supplies - Custom - Shipping Labels And Envelopes
  • Shipping Supplies - Custom - Tags
  • Shipping Supplies - Custom - Trucking Supplies
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Adhesives
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Cutting Tools
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Desiccant
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Mailing Tubes
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Marking
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Packaging Fastners
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Shipping Envelopes And Sleeves
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Staples
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Tags
  • Shipping Supplies - Stock - Trucking Supplies
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Custom - Calendars, Posters And Pamphlets
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Custom - Containers, Files And Folders
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Custom - Furniture And Lights
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Custom - Notepads, Boards And Journals
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Custom - Paper And Envelopes
  • Office Supplies, Furniture And Stationary - Custom - Pens And Pencils
Signing you up..

Thank You For Signing Up With Packform

We have received your request and will be in touch soon!
Sending Message ..

Thank You!

We have received your request and will be in touch soon!