COVID-19 continues to impact consumer brands even as the pandemic subsides.

Packaging World recently hosted a webinar that examined food and consumer packaging trends and opportunities for the coming year. This is what they said will be top-of-mind for brands as we move into a post-pandemic world.

COVID-19 impact on supply chain and production

This massive disruption in the global supply chain is going to continue to impact packaging production in the coming year. The webinar points out that everything from sourcing materials to getting the materials delivered to shipping finished products has been negatively impacted by COVID-related delays and complications. They suggest that packaging manufacturers continue to look at local sourcing of materials as well as stocking up on both materials and spare parts, because shipping delays can snowball into major manufacturing interruptions for both packagers and end users.

Packaging hygiene

Research continues to show that consumers are concerned about health and safety with regard to COVID-19, so producers must design their packaging with hygiene in mind. In the short term, that might mean some increased use of single-use packaging, which, while not ideal for sustainability, does address consumer concerns about safety. More hygienic packaging material like silicone can also be incorporated to help address fears about cleanliness.

The explosion of e-commerce

We’ve talked about this before. One of the most game-changing trends during this crisis has been the shift to home delivery of goods. The webinar points out that this is not expected to lessen substantially even after the pandemic. E-commerce is here to stay, so if manufacturers have been designing their packaging with retail stores in mind, they will have to come up with new solutions. Lightweight, durable packaging is now a requirement for practically every category of consumer goods. Heavy glass and metal are being phased out almost entirely, and they’re being replaced with lighter options. For some, that means a shift to plastics—which can be a good option, as long as the next trend is considered during the design process.

Consumer demand for sustainable packaging

Every major brand is addressing the need for sustainable packaging. The removal of harmful chemicals and the move to a “circular” process (utilizing recycled materials and creating packages that are meant to be recycled) is becoming a top priority. Many countries throughout the world are putting in place legislation to compel manufacturers to prioritize sustainability, so this trend is here to stay.

Improved technology and production innovation

No food or consumer brand is going to be able to compete unless it’s willing to embrace new ways of manufacturing packaging. With the demand from consumers for hygiene and sustainability, they must be constantly looking for better ways of bringing their products to market. The webinar discusses several ways that packaging designers can utilize the latest technology to create safe, durable packaging that meets the needs of consumers in 2022.

Watch the webinar for free on Packaging World’s website here.

Food, beverage, and consumer goods brands are facing a world that has changed in immense ways. Both safety and sustainability are top-of-mind now, and manufacturers must figure out how to meet those needs while still developing strong, light, efficient packaging. It’s a big challenge! Luckily, AMGRAPH is here to help. Smart, sustainable packaging is our business, and we have a deep understanding of and experience with consumer brands, especially food and beverage. Give us a call! We’ll help you figure out how to design smart packaging for a changing landscape.