The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the landscape of everyday life for most Americans. From how we work, to how our kids are attending school – this pandemic has redefined everyday life.
The pandemic has also changed consumers’ shopping habits. We have all seen the unprecedented lines at stores and the empty shelves. There has been a change in what Americans are buying through this health crisis. American shoppers who were taking up healthier eating are now gravitating to comfort food staples as they hunker down to weather the coronavirus pandemic. They are loading up on shelf-stable items from canned meat and soup to pretzels and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese as they comply with orders to stay home.
The shift from whole foods toward traditional staples may boost the fortunes of packaged food companies, which have been struggling with lagging sales as consumers opted for fresher alternatives.
Popcorn sales rose nearly 48% in the week ended March 14, compared with a year earlier, while pretzel sales were up 47% and potato chip sales surged 30%, according to Nielsen data.
The rise in demand for these packaged products has created the need for many printers and converters to increase production. The Flexible Packaging Association is asking government officials to recognize packaging manufacturers as "essential" in order to keep operations running during shelter in place orders.
Other items of increasing importance during this time that are supported by the flexible packaging industry include carry-out and take-out food containers, e-commerce delivery, and sterile health items and pharmaceuticals such as aspirin, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, and disinfecting wipes.
COVID-19 has helped reinforce how essential flexible packaging is. Flexible packaging manufacturers and printers and converters have amped up production in order to keep up with increased demands and ensure food and medical security needs are met as the country faces this crisis.