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The Impact of the Pandemic on Packaging


Packaging has become an increasingly strategic component of supply chain operations in recent years. From enabling late-stage customization to reducing transportation costs to supporting speed, scale and flexibility in e-commerce, packaging can be a critical solution in opening new markets and ensuring brands can efficiently respond to changing customer and market requirements.

That made the impact of the global pandemic on packaging operations particularly stressful for some brands. The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in this vital operation within some organizations while highlighting the importance of flexibility, scalability and technology in maintaining continuity and responding to shifting market demands.

For packaging operations these capabilities will crucial to meet increasingly changing post-pandemic consumer demand. One McKinsey report expects consumers to continue to be price sensitive, oriented toward price and value brands; to maintain, even accelerate, engagement with online shopping; and to focus even more on health and hygiene.

Keys to a Successful Response 

While most people associate the pandemic with “shutdowns,” those in the supply chain industry think of it in terms of new challenges. Operations didn’t have the luxury of shutting down packaging lines to implement social distancing or reinforce established cleaning protocols. Those critical changes had to be made while maintaining continuity of operations.