The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting millions of lives and businesses around the world. It has caused an economic shock three times worse than the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
Covid-19 impacted air cargo capacity also. The Global air cargo capacity is down by 35 percent, limiting resources to supplies available within any given country’s borders.
While some forms of packaging such as brick-and-mortar essentials have taken a dip, other forms required for E-commerce, medicines, and food processing have been growing by leaps and bounds.
So, what should we expect now that the pandemic has brought in a new normal for the entire world, and what should be taken into consideration to design the packaging of your next product?
Before COVID hit, consumer preferences on the packaging were on attractiveness, ease of use, and sustainability.
Now, however, the prime concern of packaging users is health and hygiene. Research has shown that the Covid-19 can survive on plastic and metal surfaces for over 72 hours.
Such materials will need to be replaced or improved with COVID-resistant variants. Products like Nano-Care integrate permanent antimicrobial coating of surfaces into the packaging to increase the protection for products.
Long before Covid-19 turned the world upside down, one of the trends in the packaging sector has been the rise of sustainable packaging practices.
Traditional packaging, most times, is based on plastic and paper, both of which extract a heavy price from the environment. As a result, we’ve been changing basic packaging practices, such as reusable bags, alternative substrates, and biodegradable materials for packaging.
Covid-19, however, changed the scenario. With health and hygiene being the priority of consumers, packaging trends are likely to temporarily shift from sustainable packaging and take a turn for the disposable.
No, we should not abandon the path of sustainable packaging. But we should focus on an alternative now, one in which hygiene, along with environmental sustainability, go hand in hand.
In the past six months, Belpax did see more clients choose affordable packaging materials. The world is going through the biggest recession that we have ever experienced.
We totally understand it. And we always recommend the most profitable solutions when it comes to manufacturing.
Most likely, you’re shopping more on Amazon; this has become the default behavior for most people at the moment.
The pandemic has forced much of the world into lockdown. This has naturally resulted in a rise in the number of online purchases.
With a decline in the packaging demand for retail shops and a consequent rise in the packaging needs for E-commerce channels, the packaging industry also has had to change priorities. Retailers have to improve the efficiency and safety of shipping.
Before the pandemic, you’d have no qualms tearing a bag of chips with your teeth, or putting the soda can to your lips without thinking twice.
Now, unfortunately, you have to think thrice before even touching these items. Product packaging, especially in the case of foods and drinkables, can no longer continue with the old concepts.
For this reason, it’s expected that designers and innovators will come forward with more innovative package designs.
Packets with disposable outer layers, or virus-resistant substrates, can all help in creating packaging that consumers can handle without fear of infections.
The rise of E-commerce and hygiene needs are boosting the rapid digitization of the supply chain. From the producer to the consumer, every aspect of service and product delivery will need to adopt more and more digital aids.
By means of automation and the use of AI, the supply chain can be made more transparent and resilient.
Naturally, this means that packaging will need to integrate greater technological innovations. We’ve already seen the ease with which packaging has been able to make use of barcode technology.
Similarly, in the near future, we expect to see an increase in the use of technology such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near Field Communication (NFC) in smart packaging.
This not only serves to increase customer confidence, but also makes the logistics process smoother, less time consuming, and hassle-free.
According to an industry survey conducted by North America’s PMMI,
most responding companies are working (83%) with capacity use levels approaching 95%. The food, beverage, and healthcare industries are some of the sectors seeing increasing demand, as consumers continue to rely on the items they manufacture during quarantine.
That being said, the industry will get better, eventually. It’ll take time, but we’re all in this together.
Stay safe and healthy. Follow the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and your local government.
Are you struggling to find a profitable solution for your business venture amid the pandemic? Let us know if your business needs a custom packaging solution amid the pandemic. We will help you reach your packaging goals.