ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Businesses that faced pandemic struggles are showing signs of recovery, increasing orders with leading sustainable packaging producer DS Smith in response to consumer demand for more home and personal care products, updated wardrobes and even alcohol.
DS Smith, whose packaging sales often are seen as a barometer of the health of key industry sectors, shared its latest data that indicates U.S. shopping trends on the upswing as consumers gradually return to work and play amid fewer pandemic restrictions.
“After dealing with a stay-at home culture, Americans now are shopping for a fresh look, and businesses quickly are responding,” said Mark Ushpol, managing director of the North America Packaging Division for DS Smith. “With many companies re-opening doors to employees, and vaccinated family and friends getting together, consumers are preparing to make sure they and their homes look their best.”
Among the highlights of DS Smith’s report, comparing the first six months of 2021 to that same period last year, its customer sales of shipping and storage boxes for:
- Home and personal care products jumped 296%.
- Fashion and accessories grew 105%, including major online and chain clothing companies.
- Distilled spirits went up 372% and beer increased 53%.
- Supplies of wine leaped a whopping 847%.
As many workers return to traditional offices, they’re still sticking with their favorite pastimes.
DS Smith said its packaging sales in the sport, leisure and toy category increased 99% in the early months of 2021 vs. that same stretch a year before. It ranged from packaging for water sports to crayons and musical instruments to arts and crafts products.
In perhaps a sign Americans are eager to hit the road, luggage and footwear packaging made a significant 221% jump, according to the sales data. Possibly reflecting an uptick in those domestic travel plans, packaging for retailers selling auto parts and related equipment and industrial accessories rose 137%.
Also showing growth – and fending off supply chain holdups across the world – sales spiked 17% for furniture and home décor, including from companies specializing in kitchen and bath cabinets, bedding, couches, chairs and similar items. That compliments the greater increase in packaging purchases for home care products.
DS Smith said the increase in sales this year stems in part from packaging customers embracing the company’s sustainability efforts. DS Smith offers fiber-based, recyclable, plastic-free paper products, and the company’s innovative packaging designs give businesses effective shipping and storage solutions.
“As online buying further expands and consumers return to in-store shopping, we’re continuously bringing to the market new innovations that solve packaging challenges and help companies design reuse and recyclability into packaging,” Ushpol said.
According to a survey last year of executives by Forbes Insights and DS Smith, eliminating empty space in packaging can produce benefits for businesses that ship goods, from cost savings to gaining an advantage over competition, all while reducing environmental impact.
DS Smith’s Circular Design Principles, which launched last year in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, help their customers innovate by building sustainability and inclusivity into packaging during the design phase.
DS Smith, in its operations, supports a circular economy that aims to reduce and eliminate waste and advocates for the reuse of materials, including its box-to-box in 14 days model that ensures boxes are collected, recycled and turned into new boxes within two weeks.
The company’s purpose is to “Redefine Packaging for a Changing World,” and as part of its “Now and Next Sustainability Strategy” and commitment to the circular economy, the company by 2030 will use packaging and recycling to replace problem plastics, reduce customer carbon and eliminate consumer packaging waste.
About DS Smith:
DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable, fiber-based packaging worldwide, supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials. Through its purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’ and its Now and Next sustainability strategy, DS Smith is committed to leading the transition to the circular economy, while delivering more circular solutions for its customers and wider society – replacing problem plastics, taking carbon out of supply chains and providing innovative recycling solutions. Its bespoke box-to-box in 14 days model, design capabilities and innovation strategy sits at the heart of this response. A Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, North American operations are headquartered in Atlanta, with 15 manufacturing, paper and recycling facilities, totaling more than 2,000 employees.