COVID-19 Impact on Food Packaging in Food and Beverage Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Food Packaging in Food and Beverage Industry

  • Food & Beverage
  • Oct 15, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Food Packaging in Food and Beverage Industry

The pandemic have impacted the food packaging industry globally. Food packaging offers protection to food products by maintaining all essential properties of food with their physical and biological appearance.

Though, there is no evidence associated with transmission of infection through packaging as of now but precautions regarding handling food products with their packages have been raised. Further, World Health Organization (WHO) and local health authorities have provided guidelines for handling the food packages such as:

  • Washing all packaging instantly when it enters the household with water and soap.
  • Transfer packaged food to cleaned containers for storage.
  • Quarantine the food items having large quantity for up to three days in the household before they used.

Lockdown have been drastically impacted in all over world including North America and Europe. However, this lockdown have been created opportunity to the packaged food sector due to their demand because of taste, high storage shelf life and attractive availability.

However, there is raising concern regarding transmission of infection through food packaging which impacting on the demand for packaging which is eventually impacting on packaging manufacturing in negative manner.

For instance,

  • According to one of the survey conducted in April 2020, 79% of global respondent stated that they are particularly safe packaging particularly they are looking for biodegradable packaging.

Further, there is increasing evidence regarding transmission of infection through food packaging. Imported or exported frozen food tested positive in several countries.

For instance,

  • According to NCB News, China has reported cases through of packaging contamination which were found in screening of imported goods related to food across the country.
  • According to Chinese Health Officials, Coronavirus has been traced on frozen goods which were imported into the cities of Pingxiang, Dalian and Xiamen. Same cases were found in Wuhan and Shenzhen. This case was previously linked with import of frozen shrimp and chicken wings from Brazil and Ecuador.

Though, there is risk and several cases were found, but there is less risk associated with trasmisation of infection through packaging. For instance, according to T. Jacob John, a retired virologist at Christian Medical College, there is less risk associated with spreading of virus through packaging of frozen food.

Further, people are more aware regarding the handling of food packaging. Hence, they are taking precautionary steps regarding handling of frozen food and other packaged food products. Due to the extended lockdown consumers have more dependent on the processed food including. Consumers preferably turns to packaged food for their comfort, before COVID-19 have fueled number of food and service sector. Hence, it is still providing better opportunity for packaging manufacturers to grow with substantial rate.

In addition, many of health authorities and other governmental association have taken initiatives providing guidelines and other principal for handling of food packages.

For instance,

  • In September 2020, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has published report for providing challenges and opportunities of biodegradable and compostable plastics. Further, this report provides suggestions of using plastics which are bio-based, oxo-degradable, and biodegradable.

Hence, owing to this initiatives food packaging market is still in considerable growth

INITIATIVES

Outbreak of Coronavirus has affected every sector in the food industry including food packaging market. The industry has affected as the supply and demand are badly disrupted.

For instance,

  • In April 2020, Cargill Incorporated has started working by following safety practices at site. Including additional precautions at manufacturing facility, including temperature testing and prohibiting international travelling, among others.

However, with the increased demand for the healthy essential products, the manufacturers are taking new initiatives for products availability.

Tyson aims to be a strong partner and responsible member of the communities we serve and in which our team members live and work. We’re supporting our plant communities – and the team members who live there – with $13 million in food and community grants.

  • We’ve created a community response fund that will distribute grants and food donations to non-profit organizations working to help people in our U.S. plant communities. 
  • The purpose of the fund is to provide help where it’s needed most. 
  • Our investment includes $2 million in community grants and more than $11 million worth of donated food. 
  • The grant money will be focused on providing emergency response support for things such as rent and utility assistance, food distribution, health care, childcare, small business support and other economic recovery services. 
  • Tyson Foods, Inc. 

We put in place a host of protective steps at all of our plants that meet or exceed CDC and OSHA guidance for preventing COVID-19 including:

  • Wellness health screening of team members each time they arrive at our facilities, checking for symptoms and taking temperatures. 
  • Supplying and requiring protective facial coverings to every team member.
  • The use of face shields for team members where workstation barriers cannot physically be implemented. 
  • Social distance monitors stationed throughout our facilities during all shifts to help ensure adherence to safety protocols and social distancing.
  • Tyson Foods, Inc. 

The number of virus particles coming out a person’s mouth or nose is far greater than a few virus particles remaining on frozen foods, somebody touching it and then spreading it,”

  • T. Jacob John, a retired virologist at Christian Medical College

People should not be afraid of food, or food packaging along with processing and delivery of food. There is no evidence of Coronavirus transmission has been found through the food chain and people should have the fear of getting infected rather they should feel comfortable. 

  • Mike Ryan, Programmer at WHO

As COVID-19 reduces access to food and other essential goods for communities around the world, PepsiCo has invested more than $60 million globally and catalyzed an additional USD 59 million in funding from others to bring food and other vital resources to the most affected communities. As part of this effort, the company is providing funding for protective gear for healthcare workers, testing and screening services, and is in the process of distributing more than 100 million nutritious meals to at-risk populations.

Globally, PepsiCo has committed USD 7 million to the UN Foundation as part of the “One World: Together At Home” campaign. Of these funds, USD 2 million is going to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and a total of USD 5 million is being distributed to the following charitable organizations responding to COVID-19: Egyptian Foodbank, the Netherlands Foodbank, the Belgium Foodbank, the Belgium Red Cross, the Netherlands Foodbank, and the Netherlands Red Cross

  • PepsiCo

Our approach to COVID-19 has been, and will continue to be, putting the safety and wellbeing of our Associates first, doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus.
 We are also focused on getting the products that people and their pets rely on delivered to their homes and having our 2,500 veterinary hospitals continue to look after the health of millions of pets. In the broader community, we’ve been focusing on making a difference through our collective donations of cash and products – which totaled over USD 20 million – and through acts of generosity and kindness demonstrated by Associates. Our Five Principles continues to guide our actions today to set us up for the world we want tomorrow.

  • Mars, Incorporated

“It’s highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging,” due to the fact that Coronavirus require a living host to multiply. Outside a body, they gradually become weaker and lose the ability to actively infect. In a June memo, the CDC similarly claimed that the risk of infection from food products or bags is “thought to be very low.”

  • WHO

The COVID-19 crisis demands we work together, find the calm where we can and most importantly, take care of each other. Our approach is, and continues to be, to put the safety and wellbeing of our Mars Associates first, do our part to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and care for our communities. This includes our initial USD 20 million commitment of cash and in-kind donations to support the people, pets and communities most affected by COVID-19. The support package includes:

  • A USD 5 million donation to support CARE International for critical supplies and expertise that will be deployed to women, children and refugee populations in the developing world.
  • A USD 2 million donation to the United Nation’s World Food Programme to aid in the transport and delivery of critical supplies for all United Nations agencies as they respond to the pandemic.
  • A USD 1 million donation to Humane Society International to help cats and dogs that have been abandoned, left behind or surrendered to shelters due to their owners falling ill or no longer having the financial means to care for them.
  • The balance of USD 12 million will come from a combination of cash and in-kind donations from across the markets where Mars operates, as well as donations from its Foundations including: the Mars Wrigley Foundation, the Banfield Foundation, PEDIGREE Foundation and the Tasty Bite Foundation.
  • Mars, Incorporated 

CONCLUSION

As the effects of COVID-19 are felt around the world, food packaging manufacturers have been impacted by raised consumption packaged food in better manner. However, regulatory norms around social distancing across multiple nations, reduced social gatherings and certain cases regarding frozen food packaging were estimated to impact the demand for these packages products at retail store to a high extent.

However, food packaging have been seeing a stable sale in their products through non store based retailing and hence foresee stability in demand during the coming months of this fiscal year.

Though, there has been a stable growth in demand for packaging, the purchasing behavior among consumers have greatly disrupted the distribution channels for these products. Also, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been an increasing awareness among consumers, on handling of food packaging.

Thus, the impact of pandemic has been neutral for the food packaging market and hence, a stable growth can be observed during upcoming years, with many opportunities of new products development for the manufacturers.

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