Food safety remains major issue for society, says Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak today has unveiled 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 at an all-time high[2], pointing towards a dilemma in Malaysian 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 global consumers surveyed, 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 indicated that ensuring food safety is its main purpose. They also expressed 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 urgently tackle.

Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines & Indonesia Managing Director, Michael Wu said, “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. It is undeniable that the industry needs to address this growing dilemma we see around food safety and the environment. Through times of challenge brought by Covid-19, the role of food packaging in bringing about harmony is undisputed.

This represents a great opportunity for us to work even closer than before with our customers and stakeholders 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 global agenda and this is now seen as a concern by more than 75 percent of respondents, brought by the impact Covid-19 on supply chains. 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. 

Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor at Yale University, comments,” With a growing global population set to require up to 70% more food by 2050, at a time when biodiversity, climate change and food security are becoming ever more pressing, there is an urgent need for change. Bold initiatives such as those taken by Tetra Pak to rethink future food packaging are therefore the need of the hour.”

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