The restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit industries when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As a result of having to shut down dining rooms, many restaurants have opted to offer carryout options to the public. This new business model sparked a conversation about the growing trend toward sustainable packaging in the food service space.

Many food delivery apps have become vital resources for struggling restaurants as Americans have been asked to quarantine. Many of these app companies have even waived fees and changed policies to accommodate the new restrictions. Fast food chains have also ramped up ad promotions to encourage the safe consumption of their meals.

As the shift to sustainable food packaging had increased over the last ten years, the current pandemic created a unique challenge for brands trying to commit to these efforts. With the Coronavirus now raising safety concerns, many of the non-sustainable packaging options have come back to light as safer alternatives to reusable products. Additionally, the public quarantine placed a higher demand on food delivery services, increasing the use of disposable packaging products. After a decade’s long effort to improve sustainability, much of the industries progress has vanished in mere months.

Many of these long-trusted brands are under the microscope as well. Consumers are keeping a close eye on how they navigate the pandemic. In addition to sustainability, shoppers are also considering things like quality, safety and accessibility when making a purchase. Food packaging plays a vital role in framing these brands for success. Preserving food quality and preventing contamination, while reinforcing brand values is a key part in influencing a buyer’s decision.

As lockdowns continue to impact worldwide business, many manufacturers of sustainable products are connecting with packaging companies to help further their cause without disrupting their workflow. Some paper packaging products provide compostable, recyclable solutions that help to reduce the use of Styrofoam and plastic. These disposable solutions help to reinforce the importance pf public safety while still maintaining quality and sustainability efforts.

We encourage brands to reach out to their supply chains to learn more about balancing safety and sustainability during this challenging time. Food delivery services are continuing to surge and you can count on the packaging industry to continue its innovation efforts and create sustainable solutions to new problems.