Significant Impact of COVID-19 on Hot Fill Packaging in Food & Beverage Industry
COVID-19 Impact on Hot Fill Packaging in Food and Beverage Industry The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the industrial and commercial progress of most of the regions in the world. The persistence of the COVID-19 for a longer period has adversely affected the most vulnerable groups of the population including adults aged more than 60 years, mothers, and children. Globally, countries are expecting a drastic decline in dietary quality in low- and middle-income countries as a result of loss of income, the shutdown of businesses, human and goods movement restrictions imposed by governments, de-globalization, and breakdown of the supply chain of food markets due to both demand shocks and supply constraints. Healthcare facilities have been consistently giving their best to combat COVID-19 and helping resources to divert from nutritional care including micronutrient supplementation, prevention, and treatment of child malnutrition. In normal times, malnutrition remains a multidimensional problem and during the pandemic situation, it has taken a major hit. Thus, the population will be more focused on building higher immunity levels during the post-crisis situation. Furthermore, due to COVID-19, supply, import-export, and demand have been affected as there was less supply the prices of food products and that impacted the demand of the global hot fill packaging market. However, manufacturers are trying to build new strategies to cope with the situation. Every sector in the food industry has been impacted either positively or negatively due to the COVID-19. The hot fill packaging market has positive as well as negative impacts in some of the aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a change in eating habits, disruption in the supply chain which affected the market adversely. AWARENESS ABOUT CLEAN AND HEALTHY FOOD INCREASED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC According to the health safety evidence coronavirus appear to be stable at low and freezing temperatures on food surfaces for a certain period, however food hygiene and good food safety practices can prevent their transmission through food. The best practice for food business operators and consumers is to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene, food hygiene, and the standard protocol of social distancing and limiting social contact, and detecting /isolating the infected persons from food handling operations. World Health Organization (WHO) has advised social distancing and maintaining high personal hygiene standards and food safety as a means of containing and stopping transmission of this virus. Thus, consumers are demanding healthier and safe food to avoid the disease. The food product is cooked thoroughly and then filled into a container during hot filling processes. Products are heated to temperatures above 85°C (185°F) and filled into a given container to ensure a safe product. Once the container is filled and sealed it can be inverted and held in the air for three minutes before being cooled by water. Inverting of the package is done to pasteurize the headspace and lid, this method has been used in industry for filling into glass jars, plastic trays, cartons, and pouches. Thus the rise in demand for preservative-free products helps in increasing the shelf life of the product and rising awareness regarding the benefits associated with the usage of hot fill packaging. The adoption of economical as well as simpler processes will likely enhance the growth of the hot fill packaging market in the forecast period. Thus, due to the safety, sterilization, and sanitization of food with hot-fill packaging, the demand is increasing worldwide, and manufacturers also trying to launch new techniques and products to fulfill the demands of the consumers. For instance, · The below pie chart shows the consumption of packed beverages in 2020 Thus, it can be concluded that the consumption of packed food has been increased to ensure food safety which is adding to the growth of the global hot fill packaging market. COVID 19 IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN OF HOT FILL PACKAGING The supply chain plays a major role when it comes to the sale of food products and due to the persistence of COVID-19, the supply chain has been disrupted worldwide. With the persistence of COVID-19, there have been restrictions on transportation, import, and export of food products. Furthermore, with the movement restriction on workers as well, the manufacturing of hot fill packaging and its products has been affected due to which the demand for consumers has not been fulfilled. Also, with restriction on import and export, it made difficult for the manufacturers to supply their products to various regions which also has impacted the prices of hot fill packaging. Thus, with ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19, the supply chain for the hot fill packaging market has been disrupted which is creating a major challenge for the market. The persistence of COVID-19 and restrictions on movement is disrupting the supply chain worldwide which is posing a major challenge for the global hot fill packaging market. However, manufacturers are trying to sell their products on digital platforms to cope up with the situation and hence getting positive responses from the consumers. For instance, · United States Plastic Corporation has the facility of their latest website technology, product tracking system, and order fulfillment equipment. The company says that “We hold nothing back when it comes to delivering quality products to our customers in an expeditious manner.” INITIATIVES Pipeline Packaging is one of the prominent players in the hot fill packaging industry. The company focuses on expanding its product manufacturing capacities, to cater to the large customer base to develop new products and also has taken initiatives in COVIID -19. CONCLUSION COVID-19 outbreak has affected every sector in the market which includes the hot fill packaging market. Some companies have closed their production facilities to mitigate potential risks from COVID-19. However, the demand for hot fill packaging has increased due to its benefits regarding food safety. Many researchers and manufacturers are urging governments to build awareness about safe and packed food. Manufacturers are introducing new techniques and innovations to increase food safety and thus the business. This is significantly affecting the global hot fill packaging market. Thus, the hot fill packaging market will mark sudden surges in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and is projected to significantly grow over a long period due to permanent changes in consumer buying behavior.