Has COVID-19 impacted the way consumers think about packaging?

Posted: 12 May 2020 | | No comments yet

A global consumer survey points towards a shift in consumer priorities when it comes to food packaging.

Has COVID-19 impacted the way consumers think about packaging?

In light of COVID-19 and its impacts on consumer priorities and behaviour, there are three key challenges that the food and packaging industry must address when it comes to developing strategies to deal with coronavirus, according to research firm FMCG Gurus. They are:

  • Trust towards claims made about product safety guarantees
  • Ensuring good value and avoiding unnecessarily excessive packaging 
  • Sustainability claims must be deemed to be trustworthy and in no way misleading.

Consumers are concerned about packaging in many ways due to COVID-19, however attitudes are changing in a positive way, according to a survey conducted by FMCG Gurus. 40 percent of global consumers stated they have more positive perceptions towards packaging as a result of COVID-19. This positive shift in attitude is said to be due to consumers wanting their food to be protected from the virus. Seven out of 10 consumers said that they believe that packaging keeps food safe.

Consumers are also said to be re-evaluating their eating and drinking habits as they look to lead healthier lifestyles. Whilst a high level of attention will be given to product formulation and improved wellbeing, consumers will also pay close attention to packaging as they evaluate the role that it has on health, the research firm suggested.

47 percent of consumers said that they are concerned about food poisoning because of chemicals in packaging contaminating the product, with food and drink being the primary worry.

FMCG Gurus research also showed that, across the globe, almost one in two consumers (47 percent) said that they are willing to pay for a product if the packaging has less of an environmental impact. 55 percent have now become ‘more concerned’ about the environment as a result of COVID-19. However, consumers are not overly trusting of sustainability claims made by packaging brands, the research revealed. Green-washing – deceptive marketing about sustainability – and consumers being subject to high profile cases where environmental claims later prove to be misleading or inaccurate were noted to be the primary concerns for consumers.