7 December 2022

3 Ways: How Did COVID Really Affect Packaging?


COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the lifestyle of the entire human species. It also changed business and the way that corporations advertise, sell and retain their customers. 

Many businesses which had flourished and been long-standing before the pandemic suddenly faced unprecedented circumstances which required them to either adapt or fall – falling meant creating large gaps in supply chains which had been cemented for years at a time. It was essentially a domino effect, with every area of the professional world affected, which then affected the individual microcosms of people across the globe. 

48% of companies before the pandemic that weren’t digitalized began investing in technology during. 64% of companies who had invested in digital technology increased their spending during the pandemic. E-commerce and social commerce became the main way to purchase everything from basics to accessories.

But how did COVID impact the packaging industry and change it forever?

01: Online Appeal

So, we mentioned how loads of companies digitized their capabilities during the pandemic. Part of the reason why some companies succeeded in this and others didn’t is because they were able to make their packaging reach the levels of expectation consumers had for it. Unboxing videos, social media photos – packaging had to look as good on camera as it did in-person. It had to emulate the brand, from the materials used to the colors featured…e-commerce and social commerce changed a lot in the way of customer expectations and we’re definitely still seeing this.

02: Materials

Sustainability was a huge part of the pandemic. Consumers became aware of the relationship their life choices had on the environment and this increased the demand for ethical materials and increased transparency in terms of the production line of brands. This affected the production lines of packaging – where before most companies wanted single use plastic with cardboard boxes and styrofoam or airbags as innards. Suddenly beauty brands were introducing mycelium, products were coming in FSC cardboard and bamboo boxes. The ink was made of algae, the stickers from vegan glues. Companies who didn’t try to incorporate sustainable moves started to see a gradual decline in sales as smaller, greener companies began to play big. Supply chains had to rework themselves, loads of materials were held up which delayed production, especially for big businesses which were entrenched in their ways. This meant that companies had to think outside the box (literally) and either find solutions or lose out on business.


03: Sell without selling

Packaging is the silent salesman, and in COVID this was incredibly evident with products being packaged to the nth degree to stop contamination. Since most people were buying online – packaging had to look as good as the end article and in high street shops it needed to sell the product without looking like it was trying to. If you want more information on how the silent salesman impacts consumer decisions check out the article on the BPAK blog.

For more information on how BPAK can help your brand’s packaging pop get in touch with the BPAK team today to start turning your concept into a reality.