Patrick Whelan

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way shoppers live, work, and play. Experts say many of those changes are permanent when it comes to packaging. COVID-19 has reshaped consumers’ shopping habits, and because many of these habits have longer-term benefits, these changes are going to stick around. What are these changes, and how do they affect you?

According to Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods, speaking at the 2022 National Retail Federation Big Show, here are the changes you should know:

  1. Shopping local. “People are falling in love with their local stores again,” notes Williams. Consider increasing (or adding) targeted, segmented packaging to engage with niche and local audiences.
  2. Food e-commerce is here to stay. People who started food shopping online during the pandemic have made it part of their norm, and more and more people are joining them. In terms of design, maximize the appearance and utility of your packaging for the screen. If you are using QR Codes to engage audiences with nutrition information, how-to’s, and recipes, consider making those codes visible on the front so they can be scanned from a computer screen, as well as in-store.
  3. In-home meals are on the rise. Consider launching an at-home meal or food prep line if you haven’t already. Or add QR Codes leading to easy recipes to spark shoppers’ creativity and tap into this trend.
  4. Value, value, value. With inflation making it harder to stretch a budget, value packaging and pricing are more important than ever. If you haven’t been mailing printed coupons, this might be a great time to start.
  5. Growth in multipacks. Okay, they aren’t environmentally friendly, but consumers love them. According to Williams, consumers choose multipacks for ease of carrying, health and safety, and portion control.

Need some packaging design changes? We’ve got ideas. Let’s talk!


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