2020 has been a very different experience for all of us and it has been a very different year to what everyone had originally envisioned. If you read our previous article, the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were only just beginning and we were discussing the change in the cosmetic market. We were uncertain at how hard Australia was going to get hit and where/what we would be doing day by day.
We were receiving at least 60+ phone calls a day from companies requesting urgent supply of packaging for mainly hand sanitiser bottles. We sold out of all stock we had available very fast and there were delays on re-supply for mainly bottles, pumps and sprays.
However it now seems that Australia has somewhat managed quite well to reduce the spread and flatten the curve which has now led to easing of some of these restrictions. At the time of writing Australia has been given a 3 step plan with dates on when/what restrictions will be eased (subject to the state/territory), which has given most brands piece of mind and a shift of focus on their projects. Since this has happened we have noticed a change in the market with current projects that were previously put on hold during the peak of the crisis, starting to resume.
In the due course we also expect to see a change in the cosmetic industry:
- Brands will want to start working with local packaging suppliers rather than direct to offshore factories
A lot of brands who went direct to China noticed long lead times and high price increases during the peak of the pandemic. The Australian dollar also dropped which led to packaging costing much more than they did originally. We are already working on major import replacement projects.
- Brands will start holding more stock of their packaging
With many people working from home and a huge demand for hand sanitiser packaging, lead times increased to 12-16 weeks. We expect more brands to hold more inventory so that they don’t face the issue of being out of stock. We expect this to be the case for at least the rest of 2020.
- There will be an influx in hand care/moisturisers post COVID-19
With many healthcare workers as well as your average consumer using hand sanitiser multiple times a day, the alcohol in the product will irritate the skin. We expect there to be more skincare related products directed at this category.
Packaging supply has almost returned to normal aside from a few exceptions. Lotion pumps, fine mist sprays & foaming pumps are in worldwide demand, with lead times expected to be at a minimum September 2020. Unfortunately Australia is a very small market, most supply is currently going to Europe and the US. However at Weltrade Packaging we have close relationships with our suppliers and we are constantly bringing in sea containers of packaging every week.
Just in the last two weeks we have seen brands get moving nationwide, they are looking for something to put a new message out to the market that won’t get lost in the Covid-19 news. Biodegradable packaging is one standout. It’s been great to see the number of brands get on board already and to see their packaging hitting the shelves in the second part of this year will be fantastic.
It will really be a half glass full type of year, either worry about what has happened or look at the bright side and how so far as a country we have done well and move forward.
Our team is ready to talk about the next things that are happening in our industry, so pick up the phone and give us a call or send us an email. There is no better time to start a conversion. Speak soon and stay safe.