Consumer concerns about food safety and hygiene are on the rise according to the 13th edition of Tetra Pak Index, Tetra Pak’s latest global research study, which highlights and analyses consumer trends related to foods and beverages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shedding lights on 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, Tetra Pak Index suggests that over two-thirds of consumers believe that ‘food safety is a major concern for society’, putting it joint first with ‘COVID-19 as a real threat to society’.

Importantly, approximately the same amount of people (over 6 in 10) agree that “we are heading for environmental disaster unless we change our daily habits”, while 63% believe that pandemic lockdowns have brought environmental improvements that they would like to see maintained.

Amar Zahid, President Middle East and Africa at Tetra Pak said: “COVID-19 has accelerated a reprioritisation of consumer needs while bringing new opportunities for the food and beverage companies to shape the industry. Addressing food safety concerns while minimising food waste cannot come at the expense of the planet - it is not an ‘either-or situation.

“The food industry needs to step up towards the twin goals of protecting our planet and meeting the human need for food. Sustainable packaging plays a key role in this equation. And this resonates strongly with our philosophy that ‘a package should save more than it costs’ as well as with our promise to protect food, people and the planet.”

With 59% of people worried about the food they buy being hygienic and safe, health – a leading consumer concern for a long time - is now bound up with these heightened issues of food safety and hygiene: 67% agree that being healthy is being safe.

While health is deeply connected to heightened issues of food safety and hygiene, 50% of consumers not only believe that improving food safety is the responsibility of manufacturers, but they also see it as the number one issue that companies need to tackle now and in the future.

“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 and recycled materials, which is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral, allowing ambient distribution and meeting food safety requirements.

“I would like to underline the importance of our customers. We take pride in the fact that many of our relationships stretch back for years – and even decades. We believe this is because we are continually working together to find the most sustainable and cost-effective solutions to complex challenges. Here is yet another challenge which I believe we will overcome together.

“Now more than ever, our role, as a leading food processing and packaging solution provider is to make food safe and available everyday while protecting our planet. We will continue our journey towards providing a sustainable future for the next generations, while listening to and addressing our customers’ and consumers’ needs and concerns”, added Zahid.

Tetra Pak Index findings were announced ahead of Gulfood 2021, the region’s leading food and beverage exhibition taking place from 21 to 25 February at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Tetra Pak is welcoming its visitors in a dedicated lounge in Sharjah meeting room, outside Hall 6. 

Source: FleishmanHillard

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