4 Ways The Pandemic Has Influenced Food Packaging Trends

4 Ways The Pandemic Has Influenced Food Packaging Trends

The coronavirus pandemic has brought waves of unprecedented changes in all sectors and disrupted countless ways of life, resulting in many trends that have transformed business operations overnight. In this article, we take a look at how all these changes have influenced trends in commercial packaging for business owners today.                        

1. Priority on hygiene and safety

While pre-pandemic trends were starting to favour sustainable alternatives and lightweight packaging that also reduced costs for business owners, the COVID-19 pandemic came into play and increased consumers' awareness about food health and safety. It led to a marked increase in single-use packaging, and inspired businesses to rethink their packaging design to maintain trust and ensure peace of mind for their customers. 

At the pandemic's peak, F&B businesses faced considerable pressure to prioritise food deliveries, making it clear that single-use packaging needs to be a well thought out factor in their business.

2. A premium on customer convenience

Consumer behaviours have changed since shops had physically closed down, forcing people into quarantine. Take-outs and deliveries rose to an all-time high, necessitating F&B businesses to facilitate their customer's need for convenience with direct-to-consumer foods and beverages. While the economy is slowly opening back up, the convenience of eating on the go or taking away food to enjoy at home is an option more people are choosing.

Consumers' changing lifestyles imposed new demands on these businesses as they evaluated their packaging in terms of portability, durability, and effectiveness in maintaining food freshness and quality. Ideally, companies should cater to both dine-in and take-out crowds to maximise their business as they adapt to meet their customers' needs.

3. A considerable increase in demand for food delivery

As mentioned earlier, at the height of the pandemic, food establishments either had to shut down or offer carry-out and delivery services. Even as the situation improved, dine-in restrictions were still in place. It became clear that F&B businesses had to be more entrepreneurial to ensure survival. In this novel situation, businesses that may not have a traditionally solid online presence had to investigate better portable plastic food packaging for their businesses. Plastic containers with lids specially designed for the business’ food items have also seen greater utility, making the most out of the customer’s food delivery experience.

4. Greater awareness of sustainability

It is true that businesses have put sustainability efforts on the backburner as consumer health and safety concerns moved to the front seat amidst the pandemic. Nonetheless, they remain a critical industry-shaping trend that all F&B owners should be aware of.

Many businesses still include sustainable packaging elements such as paper lunch boxes, paper bags, and other paper-based products. Different approaches include reducing the non-reusable container's size or minimising the packaging material layers used to reduce their carbon footprint and their attempt to be as eco-friendly as possible.


Choosing suitable packaging materials is essential for F&B businesses as they navigate the new economic landscape. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on megatrends and how companies balance their decisions regarding packaging — in this case, the cost-effectiveness balanced with a consumer-safety-first mentality and a new business climate of food delivery. This consumer behaviour will probably persist long after the pandemic subsides, and business owners that adapt to this new norm will see minimal disruptions to their operations in the long run.

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