Winfried Batzke, Managing Director, German Packaging Institute (dvi) on the biggest effects of the corona crisis, impending supply bottlenecks, the prospects for unpackaged shops and the trade fair planning for 2020/2021.
Where do you see the greatest impact of the corona pandemic on the industry, does it offer opportunities as well?
The effects are not yet foreseeable. In the short term, parts of the packaging industry will certainly benefit from increased demand and from e-commerce. However, if we slide into a recession, as predicted, this is likely to cause similar problems as in the financial crisis in 2009, when demand for packaging for industrial goods was significantly lower for a long period of time.
Is it true that there are bottlenecks in the retail trade for fruit and vegetables because of a lack of packaging?
Unfortunately, I lack information on this. However, it is precisely in this situation that it becomes clear how important packaging is, not only for the protection and transport of the products or consumer information. Safety and hygiene hardly played a role in the public discussion before the Corona crisis. Now we can see that packaging is not an end in itself, but fulfils many important tasks.
Does Corona mean the end for unpackaged goods shops?
I don’t think so, especially as very few products are really unpackaged in unpackaged goods shops. For the most part, the term is more of a deceptive label. Most goods are delivered packaged and the consumer likes to repackage them in the shop. The packaging process is merely shifted from the industry to the consumer. The fact that this can lead to hygienic gaps will be questioned more strongly in the current situation and hopefully also in the long run.
How do you assess the trade fair planning for 2021 – will associations and companies concentrate on a few trade fairs? If so, which ones?
The large number of trade fairs that have been postponed to autumn/winter or into the coming spring makes it very difficult for associations and companies to use the available resources wisely. In this situation, everyone will have to concentrate on their most important markets and target groups. From my point of view, one has to expect that global involvement will again be somewhat scaled back. It is difficult to give a general answer to the question of which trade fairs are best suited for everyone. I can’t make any recommendations in this respect either.