In this period of forced changes and necessary adaptations, companies are focusing on analysing the impact of Covid-19 on market performance. What has really changed in the final consumer’s purchases? How has the pandemic changed buying habits and which of these changes will be transitory, and which will remain? 

Accenture has tried to answer these questions: in April 2020 it conducted research, How COVID-19 will permanently change consumer behavior (where the adjective “permanently” plays a key role). The Accenture research contains many interesting insights. Let’s try to summarize some of them: 

  • Two types of concerns emerge: one closely related to Health (ours and others’) and one related to the economic impact of the pandemic (such as the possibility of losing your job);  
  • Basic needs take over: most purchases are directed towards health and wellness related products. Here is the ranking:   
  1. health of family and friends,   
  2. personal health,    
  3. food and drug safety,   
  4. personal safety,   
  5. financial security.  

As is evident, the words that recur most often are “safety and health”.   

What does this mean for the packaging industry

Certainly habits, price and availability still play an important role in the shopping list, but there is one newcomer who determines what ends up in the shopping cart: safety. In this situation, a new need has arisen on the part of the consumer, who thinks about it, not two, but three times before getting his hands on a product. Never before have you paid more attention to hygiene and the use of disinfectant products, even to clean your shopping before storing it.  The hygienic safety of a product is determined not only by the amount of disinfectant that is poured on it, but starts upstream: in the packaging. When we stretch our hand on the shelf, what we touch is not the product itself but the packaging that contains it. When we clean a product, we don’t clean the tomato sauce that it contains, but its container. 

Today more than ever, packaging is called upon to respond to a need for safety in terms of reliability and hygiene. And the solution already exists: it is called aluminium. Aluminium protects against atmospheric agents, odours and microorganisms, preserving the content without altering it in any way. All these peculiarities make aluminium the perfect material for cosmetics, food and much more. And that’s not all: both for the material it is made of and for its shape, the aluminium tube is simple and practical to wash and sanitize. Not to mention that, especially in single-dose packages, it can become a “personal” tube, used by only one user. Confess it: how many times have you sunk the spoon into a rich jar of chocolate cream? 😊 If, however, the people who draw on this “source of happiness” are different, so are the spoons and the lips that touch them… These days it is essential to be careful even in daily sharing.

Choosing aluminium as the material for your packaging is a choice that definitely earns you points in reliability. In addition to being a very light and versatile metal, it is one of the greenest existing materials: it is in fact 100% recyclable without losing its original qualities; it is estimated that 70% of all the aluminium produced all over the world is still in circulation!

But it’s not over: again according to Accenture’s research, respondents indicate that Covid 19 has permanently changed their purchase criteria. The first and most important change they consider “permanent” is to avoid food waste.

Unlike plastic tubes, aluminium tubes can be completely squeezed, allowing you to use every last drop of product. Without waste. In addition, by completely protecting the contents from external contamination, they protect their state of preservation for a long time.

At such a complex time, winning the shelf challenge becomes even more difficult. But companies that choose aluminium tubes as their product packaging will have an important ally.