The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting many industries, including packaging, and resulting in a shift in demand patterns.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess which packaging formats, among five major formats, are seeing an increase in demand since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Analysis of the poll results shows that plastic and cardboard have witnessed increases in demand, among formats that also included stainless steel, copper, and aerosols.

A majority 44% of the poll respondents opined that the demand for plastic packaging has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic, while 32% believed that demand for cardboard has increased.

COVID-19 packaging format demand

A lesser 11% felt that demand for stainless steel has increased, while a minority 7% and 6% respectively felt that the demand for copper and aerosol has increased during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The analysis is based on 333 responses received between 26 March and 01 May.

How COVID-19 is changing the demand pattern for various packaging formats

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in demand for certain packaging formats due to the risk of transmission through packaging surfaces. The demand for disposable and single-use plastic packaging format is the highest as it is perceived to be safe and hygienic.

Further, the current low oil prices are expected to make it easier to develop plastic products and packaging, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics firm.

Paperboard and cardboard is another packaging format that is being favoured by consumers after studies suggested that the COVID-19 virus can survive on plastic packaging and stainless steel surfaces for up to 72 hours.

Product protection is one of the top features prioritised by consumers highlighting their concern for food hygiene and safety, according to an analysis by GlobalData.

Consumers are expected to prefer paperboard packaging in the current pandemic environment as the virus has only a 24-hour survival rate on the surface.

The demand for these packaging formats is expected to be applicable in different fast-moving goods sectors including fresh food, personal care, and household care. While plastic offers hygienic use and easy disposal of the packaging, paperboard serves as a more environment-friendly alternative.