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Concern over potential COVID-19 contamination has focused consumers’ thoughts on the protective role of packaging. Packaging material, structure and functionality can all be leveraged to provide reassuring cues that speak to shoppers suffering from pandemic anxiety. Beyond the shopper moment, brands are exploring ways that packaging can encourage and support better hygiene behaviours, both when socialising and in the home.

As the pandemic drags on, consumers are increasingly seeking emotional support, driving brands to react. Within food, we see functional formulations and emotionally engaging multisensory products from brands looking to command a larger share among myriad mental and emotional health options. Packaging has a clear role in reassuring consumers that a brand is supporting them and their community and can expand product usage into engaging and mindful activities to encourage calm and reduce stress.

The COVID-19 outbreak has slowed momentum in the development of sustainable packaging, but as we emerge from the pandemic the focus on environmental destruction will rebound. It is in this space that packaging which is both recyclable and made from recycled material is gaining ground. However, looking to the future, climate change is driving demands for carbon clarity. Now is the time for companies to investigate packaging initiatives that reduce their carbon emissions.

Download the presentation delivered by Benjamin Punchard, Global Packaging Insight Director, exclusively for the European Carton Makers Association and find out more!