Tetra Pak Research Study Reveals Food Safety-Environment Dilemma Fostered By COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, November 19th, 2020 | 1310 Views

Tetra Pak today unveils findings from its global research study, in partnership with Ipsos[1], showing that food safety is a major issue for society. The same amount of respondents believe that COVID-19 is a “real threat.” At the same time, concern for the environment remains strikingly powerful[2], pointing towards a dilemma in the consumers’ minds as they try to balance the critical priorities of human existence through safe food and sustainability of the planet we live on.

The Tetra Pak Index, in its 13th edition, has seen a 10 percent increase in global concern about food safety and future food supplies, now at 40 percent, compared to 30 percent from 2019. In addition, more than 50 percent of consumers not only believe that improving food safety is the responsibility of manufacturers, they see it as the number one issue that companies need to tackle now and in the future. According to this year’s research, health is deeply connected to heightened issues of food safety and hygiene: with two-thirds of consumers saying that being healthy is being safe and 60 percent of consumers globally saying they worry about the food they buy being hygienic and safe.

When asked what is key for them in a package, consumers indicate that ensuring food safety is its main purpose. They also express concerns about environmental innovations in packaging impacting food safety, even though the majority of respondents indicate ‘using sustainable packaging’ as one of the top issues food and beverage brands need to tackle – today and tomorrow.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the status quo, accelerated trends and created a new landscape of consumer needs and opportunities for companies to build on. In particular, the industry needs to address the growing dilemma around food safety and the environment, stepping up towards the twin goals of meeting the human need for food while protecting our planet’s ecosystem. This is where food packaging can play a strong role in bringing about harmony,” commented Adolfo Orive, President and CEO, Tetra Pak.

Working closely with our customers and stakeholders, we are already on a journey to create the ultimate sustainable food package – a carton package that is made solely from responsibly sourced renewable or recycled materials, is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral, allowing ambient distribution and meeting food safety requirements. We see this as a critical step in building a sustainable future for the next generation, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19.”

The Tetra Pak Index 2020 also highlights how food waste is rising up the agenda and this is now seen as a concern by more than three-quarters of respondents. The impact of COVID-19 on supply chains has accelerated awareness of food waste as a pressing issue. There is a likelihood that this sentiment will grow going forward, as the world strives to feed its growing population. Consumers cite food waste reduction as both the number one environmental issue they can influence themselves and one of the top three priorities for manufacturers. But confusing labelling is a barrier, offering brands a chance for better communication.


[1] Ipsos is a global leader in market research, delivering reliable information and true understanding of Society, Markets and People.

[2] The Tetra Pak Index 2020 finds consumer concern for food safety has grown compared to this time last year, with 40 percent of respondents ranking food safety and future food supplies among their top three most worrying issues, compared to 30 percent in the Tetra Pak Index 2019. 64 percent of respondents have identified COVID-19 as the issue causing them the greatest worry, pushing the environment down the list of global concerns: from 63 percent in 2019 to 49 percent today – whereas worries about economic issues are rising, up from 40 percent to 47 percent.


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