Saturday, 16 October 2021

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Coronavirus Effect on the Packaging Industry

Over the last year the world has changed significantly due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This virus has been something no one in this generation has seen before in their lifetime. The Coronavirus is responsible for many lost lives and has shutdown businesses all over the world. The virus has made the united states hyper aware of protecting themselves against this unforeseen foe in such a short amount of time. Many businesses have had to stop their production and anything out of the country was completely stopped to prevent the further spread of the virus.

The stop of the spread of the virus was the prime objective exceedingly early on with nationwide quarantine that saw people having to stay in their homes for extended amounts of times. The effects of that were not only an outcry of extreme boredom from people but also many cases of depression and anxiety from the self-isolation during that time. The uncertainty from what was to happen next lead to many buyers to go raid many stores when they were open for odd purchases that before the pandemic would be strange that there was a shortage for them.

We were starting to see toilet paper, masks, and sanitary supplies vanish from store shelves. The chaotic pressure to get supplies that were realistically not going to be gone forever were at an all-time high and people went after that feeling fast. That part of the pandemic proved to people that trends and fear dictate many purchases and human behavior.

After states slowly started to allow people to go to places that were not an absolute necessary, we started to see stores and restaurants open again at certain compacities. Business started to pick up, but it was not back to normal. Once again, the feeling of urgency to be back to normal social circumstances had people rushing into these places and seeing normal restaurants being booked out like prime time five-star establishments.

The feeling of the unknown did not just change the restaurant and store business but also the packaging world. The use of sanitation and handling of packages has never been as important as it is now. The virus once again put fearful pressure on the packaging industry which led to some interesting outcomes over the year.

For example, let’s focus on the sales of chocolate products. These products must be packaged and sealed up correctly, so the sales of chocolates correlate very well over the year of 2020. “The 2021 State of Treating report is based on consumer studies by NCA and 210 Analytics conducted in September and December 2020 among 1,500+ qualified shoppers ages 18-75 in each study” (Pierce). The results of this study show an increase 4.2% over the year and 41% of buyers started to buy in bulk. These sales were defiantly motivated by emotions and fears. The buying of products in bulk is obviously from the fear of availability that this pandemic pushed forward. The main trend coming out of sales and packaging productions is based on emotions.

It has been more than a year since the beginning of the pandemic here in America and a lot of progress has been made with a push for the vaccine. The first to get the vaccines were the age group of 65 & up citizens and medical workers who were the most liable to get the virus and be more deadly to in this group. The vaccine is now available to most people and the demand for the vaccine is the highest wanted product in the world. “Demand for the COVID-19 vaccines severely exceeds current supply. So, in a move similar to the unprecedented collaboration between Sanofi and Pfizer, now Merck has stepped up to help get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the market quicker” (Lingle). How can the packaging field help fight this fight against Covid-19?

The packaging industry can help by enforcing proper sterilization of the containers holding these vaccines. The packaging industry also helps make sure that these vaccines are kept at the required temperature and helps prevent damages from when packages fall and harm the product such as the vaccine in this case. It is crucial at this point to not let any vaccines go to waste because of the scarcity of the vaccine. We have seen the reactions of sales and demand in the United States when scarcity and fear set in so packaging can be immensely helpful and extremely profitable.

What are the next trends to look out for? “The reality of the New Year is that — even though pandemic, social, and political concerns persist — most businesses are finding equilibrium in the new normal. This back-to-business mindset expresses itself in a renewed interest in packaging mainstays, such as sustainability, new technologies, and innovative design” (Henry). Other than the hoarding of toilet paper, what is there to watch out for? Many products that are available to order online are in high demand, but manufacturers are running into a problem. Manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with high volume of product orders, the availability of workers to do the work due to covid and having less workers in person. Soon this issue will be fixed.

Covid-19 and 2020 really kicked our world to the ground and it took a while to get back up, but we did it together. Through medicine, vaccines were made to fight and end the fear and pain caused by Covid-19. Packaging has protected people in ways they have never noticed, and people should be excited to see what the packaging world has to offer next.

References

John R. Henry | Apr 10. “COVID-19 and Packaging Machinery: One Year Later.” Packagingdigest.com, 10 Apr. 2021, www.packagingdigest.com/automation/covid-19-and-packaging-machinery-one-year-later.

Lisa McTigue Pierce | Mar 15. “Merck Helps Produce J&J's COVID-19 Vaccine and More News.” Packagingdigest.com, 16 Mar. 2021,

www.packagingdigest.com/pharmaceutical-packaging/merck-helps-produce-jjs-covid-19-vaccine-and-more-news.

Rick Lingle | Mar 30. “Confectionery Packaging in the Time of Pandemic: A Snapshot.” Packagingdigest.com, 30 Mar. 2021, www.packagingdigest.com/food-packaging/confectionery-packaging-time-pandemic-snapshot.

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