The environmental impact of products we buy is likely not at the forefront of some consumer’s minds at the moment. But in all reality, the pandemic has put into focus even more the problem of food waste and the importance of food packaging.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published a study showing that roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which totals about 1.3 billion tons per year. The current pandemic has intensified this, with panic buying and the need for stockpiling food, leading to a significant increase in the amount of fresh food thrown away.
One food item that has seen a recent surge in demand is bread. Bakeries have increased production in recent months by as much as 30%. According to the International Dairy Deli and Bakery Association, data shows big jumps in bakery aisle items, such as bread, rolls and buns. There have also been big sales surges in peanut butter, jelly, deli meats and hot dogs.
In times of crisis, consumers tend to simplify what they eat, so it makes sense that bread is at the top of the list of food products people are stockpiling. With more adults working from home, and schools being closed for children, the consumption of sandwiches and quick convenience meals have increased.
With people purchasing more bread to keep on hand for a longer period of time, bread bags have a heightened importance. Bread packaged in plastic bags has a longer shelf life and stays fresh longer. While putting bread in paper bags could seem like a more environmentally friendly solution, in reality, that’s simply not the case. Bread goes staler faster in paper versus plastic – causing unnecessary food waste.
Bread that is packaged in bags is also bringing some comfort to shoppers. According to a recent survey by The Packer, grocery shoppers have changed their shopping habits due to fears of catching coronavirus from food. Consumers indicated they want food that is pre-packaged. Even among those who understand that they cannot catch coronavirus from food, there is an elevated fear around food safety that has even extended to home kitchens.
Bread bags are the perfect solution for keeping the product fresh and protected. During the current global pandemic, these two things have become even more important.
Wicketed bread bags enable reduced handling time and increased production. Hudson-Sharp wicketers are known the world over for their reliability to produce high-quality wicketed bags as well as providing maximum flexibility with a modular machine configuration.