General / April 28, 2020
The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has affected the daily lives of millions of people and put a severe strain on our healthcare system. As a result of this, the need for flexible packaging is increasing at a rapid rate. Industry experts expect to see a substantial growth in demand for these products in the foreseeable future.
Market research firm Wood Mackenzie believes that demand for flexible consumer packaging in the U.S. will spike up to 10% in 2020, as compared to 3% last year. Europe is also seeing a resurgence in demand, with increases expected to be 5% or more. This is a sizeable boost, as product demand in Europe was under 2% in 2019.
Food Processing Industry
The virus has had a worldwide impact on the way that people utilize FMCG products. Because of the health threat that COVID-19 poses globally, many governments have quickly imposed restrictions, which has caused the food processing industry to scramble in order to keep up with demand.
In addition, the closure of nearly all restaurants (except for takeout) has caused a shift in consumer behavior toward purchasing more food in grocery stores and other retail outlets. Because this sector of the food business tends to heavily utilize a great deal of flexible packaging, demand for these products will continue to increase at a rapid rate.
Coffee & Comfort Foods
Due to the overall increased stress level in society all over the world, the demand for coffee and other comfort food items, such as baked goods, cookies, bread and other products are on the rise. This is another area of the retail food sector that will be relying upon the flexible packaging industry to keep up with growing consumer demand in the coming months. It is important to note that should societal restrictions, such as stay at home orders be extended, the need for these types of items will grow even stronger.
COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the healthcare delivery systems of many nations across the globe. As the pandemic began its forest fire like spread across the U.S. and Europe during the last 60-90 days, the need for flexible packaging in order to deliver medical supplies such as gowns, masks and other protective equipment has increased greatly.
As a result of dramatic increases in the need for flexible packaging in these industries and others, Biaxially-oriented PET (BOPET) plastic film producers are seeing notable increases in bulk orders from flexible packaging manufacturers in order to meet increasing demand.
Pressure On Supply Chains
Industry experts indicate that as of now, the raw material supply chain that feeds the flexible packaging industry is keeping up with demand. However, this should not be taken for granted. Transportation costs have been rising in the European market, which has caused an increase in prices for European BOPET film. The industry in both the U.S. and Europe must also be sensitive to the human impact that the increased demand for flexible packaging is having on its workforce.
The topic of flexible packaging sustainability, which has been a notable concern to the industry for many years has been put on the back burner, at least for now.Everyone should expect this all important issue to come to the forefront again once the COVID-19 pandemic has been resolved.
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