Due to COVID-19 restrictions, consumers had been spending more time at home than usual, which negatively impacted impulse and on-the-go consumption. In 2021, the restrictions on hotels, restaurants, offices, pubs, schools and other locations were lifted.
Smaller pack types were becoming more popular in 2021 as consumers returned to busy lifestyles and required portable products for on-the-go consumption. Players are thus aiming to attract new consumers with more favourable, lower-priced versions of their most popular brands.
As consumer mobility returned, the demand for prepared food, especially in the baby food category, increased. This increased the packaging unit volumes of thin wall plastic containers and aluminium/plastic pouches used in prepared baby food in 2021.
Consumers are demanding smaller pack sizes, which is benefiting metal beverage cans that typically come in 250ml and 330ml pack sizes. Larger pack sizes in soft drinks such as cola carbonates also saw a drop in demand for their popular 500ml packs.
While sales of some alcoholic drinks, like beer, shifted off-trade during the pandemic, categories like RTDs saw no visible channel switch. When lockdown restrictions eased and bars and pubs reopened in 2021, there was a turnaround in performances, with the on-trade seeing growth and the off-trade seeing a slight decline.
The general interest in skin care hygiene returned as mobility increased post-lockdown. This benefited packaging volumes of general blister and strip packs, folding cartons, glass bottles, PET bottles and squeezable plastic tubes used for depilatories in 2021.
Home cooking was prominent due to COVID-19 in 2020 a result of home seclusion, but decreased in popularity as foodservice outlets reopened in 2021. This was visible in the sales of dishwashing packaging units, which saw slower growth in 2021, following the major demand spike in 2020.
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