After the outbreak of Coronavirus, many brands have tweaked their products, marketing strategy, and what they offer to their consumers to cater to their evolving needs due to the ever-changing macro factors. Just yesterday, KFC decided to press pause on its iconic tagline ‘Finger-Lickin’ Good’ in a few markets because it does not quite fit in with the current environment. Similarly, brands have also tweaked their product packaging and design to highlight what matters the most today — building immunity, hygiene, and safety.
COVID-19 continues to consume revenues and impact businesses in various sectors, lockdown impositions and supply chain industry disruption has adversely affected the packaging industry, which is worth $900 billion. Several aspects must be addressed through new, improved packaging designs, for foods and beverages, along with sector that requires consumers to engage directly with packaging (personal-care and healthcare, to name a few).
The packaging industry has played a pivotal role in helping other industries to function with ease in these difficult times.
However, few megatrends for the industry are still to catch on –
- Antiviral packaging – The choice of substrate can affect the viability of the novel coronavirus, so there could be plenty of room for enhanced packaging designs. Tosaf is developing an antiviral & antimicrobial additive for polyolefin nonwoven fabrics and films, used in the production of disposable, medical, protective applications. Masks, protective apparel, and other products produced with this additive become both antiviral and antibacterial. Termotécnica has reinvented itself by launching the Safe Pack Antiviral and Antibacterial. Patented and unique in the market, Safe Pack uses nanotechnology to reduce the time and quantity of viral and bacterial agents in the EPS packaging produced by the company.
- Convenience and Safety – Consumer demand for convenience has sparked advanced closures and delivery systems that promote on-the-go consumption. The easy opening and closing of small single-use packs for stand-up pouches for baby food and energy-gel pouches have been very helpful. Such systems typically require consumers to touch the surface of the packaging with their hands and to put it in their mouths to consume the contents. The trend now is to explore the internal delamination of different packaging materials; in other words, consumers could peel off the film to reveal a clean inner surface that can be safely put in contact with their mouths. This type of peel-off-film technology, which already exists for food-packaging applications, is often used in easy-open and easy-seal containers.
- Tamper-proof packaging – The goals are to ensure protection against contamination, particularly for food and beverages, but not creating more packaging waste by adding materials and protective closures. Packaging design and printed information need to be used to explain that products are safe and build trust with consumers. Berry Bramlage unveiled a convenient and sustainable hand hygiene on-the-go pack solution. The new Hands’Up 50 ml Tottle is a refillable bottle that consumers can continually top up with liquid soap, hand gel, or sanitizer. The bottle is small enough to fit into bags, briefcases, and pockets and incorporates a hook on the base, allowing the bottle to be attached to a belt or hung around the neck. The polypropylene bottle can be recycled and ensures accurate dosing with a flip-top closure for convenient one-handed opening.
- Enabling Digitalization of the value chain – Automation and the more widespread use of AI are not only for cost efficiency and productivity but also to make supply more resilient and transparent through real-time tracking. The result could be a greater need to integrate technology—radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and near-field communications (NFC)— into the packaging. Innovative packaging designs will play an important role.
- Flexible Packaging: Europe is undergoing a revolution to replace non-flexible packaging with flexible packaging for FMCG goods due to COVID-19. Packaging waste can be reduced by 21 million tonnes per year, a significant 70% reduction in the total amount of non-flexible FMCG primary packaging. This trend will increase the demand for flexible packaging soon.
- Single-use Packaging – Single-use plastics such as polystyrene and polyethylene along with paper and cardboard packaging are set to experience a boost in demand. Novolex brand Waddington North America (WNA) created containers, trays, bowls, and platters to help schools provide meals safely to students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made several recommendations for schools, including offering individually packaged meals in classrooms instead of in a cafeteria, using disposable food service items, and providing pre-packaged meals. The Atrium product line from WNA offers various covered containers, single-serving portion trays, grab-and-go containers, multipurpose trays, bowls with lids, platters, and pre-portioned snack trays.
- Sustainability and Environment Friendly– With the advent of single-serve packaging, concern for the environment is even more crucial now. Companies like SavrPak are working towards creating a sustainable environment. They deploy the laws of physics and thermodynamics to eliminate moisture from a container before its food deteriorates. With at-home deliveries and takeout spiking during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has ramped up production of its patented food waste prevention technology.
All these megatrends call out for a major overhaul. Packaging companies need to reassess their business strategy including new product development, new markets assessment, new technology management, business use-cases, and business models- powered by innovation, considering these evolving megatrends.
We at Ideapoke, are all up to supercharge our clients to transform their business and be the leaders in their field. We are here to assist brands, not only in catching up with the emerging trends in the markets amidst the COVID-19 crisis but also to discover new trends to beat the competition- all with the use of AI-powered intelligence. We help you partner with start-ups, companies around the globe and make smarter, quicker, and better decisions.Work with us to navigate your path to growth.
- RESPOND to the market uncertainties
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