How is COVID-19 Shaping the Future of Packaging Design

How is COVID-19 Shaping the Future of Packaging Design

11th February 2021

Is COVID-19 undoing the efforts towards a more sustainable future? Jon, Head of Packaging, takes a look at the impact COVID is having on the packaging industry and FMCG market, and how that’ll change packaging design in the years to come.

Over the past year, we’ve had to adjust our lives to a new normal. A new normal that’s constantly evolving. We’ve seen brands quickly and effectively respond to meet people’s needs. From gin distilleries switching production lines to produce hand sanitisers to restaurants delivering cook at home boxes, these have all been necessary adaptations to maintain trade and revenue. Despite this, there’s still a need to acknowledge the broader brand responsibilities when it comes to product packaging.

Changing Consumer Perceptions

Research by FMCG Gurus shows that consumers are heavily seeking reassurance from product packaging as their main priority is keeping safe. This was evident from the outset of the pandemic as consumers reached for the plastic wrapped fruit and veg over loose produce. It’s not great for the environment but short term it’s provided consumers with peace of mind. As a result, single-use plastic is on the rise in the food and drink sectors as consumers prefer to buy products in plastic packaging. There’s a huge focus to develop an environmentally friendly plastic that meets both customer standards and environmental factors.

Germ-free Packaging

Brands are encouraged to develop innovative packaging with anti-bacterial properties to ensure customer safety and to shape packaging perceptions of a product and brand. As well as displaying functional benefits on pack, it should also connect emotionally, with a message that provides a clear antibacterial coating message and reassurance to the consumer. There’s real consumer value for antibacterial coatings to become standard in print.

Any industry that goes through a multi-touch process before it reaches the consumer would be able to pass on reassurance that the packaging won’t make them ill.  The benefits that food services, like in-flight meals where packaging is touched many times both pre and post-consumer, are invaluable. It’s clear from consumer-based studies that consumers care about packaging hygiene and this will continue to be a priority for the years to come.

Technology First Approach

With many consumers being concerned about touching products, a great way for brands to combat this is through integrating technology on product designs which can be activated by a phone. Read more about connected packaging on our blog here.

Looking for ways to adapt your packaging towards a more sustainable future? Contact the team today.

JON WIDER 2 small
Article by Jon-Paul Lightfoot

Head of Packaging

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