Will COVID-19 Effect Future Packaging Trends?

Like all industries, COVID-19 has had an effect in the packaging industry. As a packaging machinery manufacturer, Liquid Packaging Solutions has seen a rise in requests for equipment to handle hand sanitizers, cleaners, food and other essential products during the last few months. But what about the actual packaging used to present products to the consumer?

One of the major trends of the last few years regarding packaging has been the sustainability of the packaging itself, as well as the entire packaging process. A sustainable package would likely be defined as one that can be re-cycled or even reused. A second recent trend has been to minimize packaging material, to cut down on the use of resources and help with the process of sustainability. Finally, consumer convenience has also been a top priority when creating packaging for different products. In our current environment, these three trends may arguably clash, at least temporarily.

Arguably the newest trend to begin emerging in the packaging industry at this time is consumer safety. Though always a concern and a component to be considered when choosing packaging, the new coronavirus has put a new spin on consumer safety. For example, re-usable or refillable bottles are an option for cutting down on packaging used and keeping the packaging process sustainable. But as concern about the spread of the virus grows every day, consumers may be wary of re-filling containers or re-using returned bottles. Single use items may seem safer to some consumers, whether a valid belief or not. In the current atmosphere, packagers may need to temporarily scale back on sustainable processes or concepts to meet the desires of the consumers, who want to feel safe in their ability to purchase and consume products.

In other words, single use containers or items may meet the trend of consumer safety and convenience, while temporarily halting or slowing the march toward sustainability as to recycling and lowering material use. If this trend does play out, it is likely to be a temporary change, as sustainability will return to the forefront once the spread of the virus has been controlled and consumers once again feel safe to re-use and recycle.

As to the effect on packaging machinery manufacturers such as LPS, the changes should be slim if felt at all. Rinsing machines, liquid fillers, capping equipment and other machinery can handle a range of container types and sizes, so that most equipment can handle changes to containers if such a change becomes necessary.

LPS packaging specialists are available to assist any packaging company with unique challenges that may arise during the current health crisis. The company encourages anyone facing packaging challenges to contact LPS to discuss those challenges along with the possible solutions.