We are firmly in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic and major changes are taking place all around us. With some states ordering residents to stay at home and others, at a minimum, recommending social distancing of 6 feet or more and no group gatherings, the impact on our daily lives is just beginning to be felt, let alone understood. We are working hard to “flatten the curve.” However, we as Americans are strong, resilient, resourceful and full of innovative power. We will get through this and we will come out the other side stronger, more connected and less concerned about some of the petty items we’ve squabbled over so much in the past. While there is tragedy around us, there is a path forward…and even a silver lining. But first things first.
A major new trend has begun with restaurants closing and take-out food becoming our only commercially-prepared eating option. “Homing,” as it’s been termed, has people cooking for themselves one heck of a lot more. In fact, the increase in home cooking can’t even be estimated with accuracy just yet. But have a look at some of these numbers:
“Staples like dried beans saw sales rise 63% for the one-week period ended March 7 when compared to the previous four weeks, according to the market research company Nielsen. Rice sales spiked 58%, chickepeas/garbanzos 47%, powdered milk products 126%, water 42%, and canned meat 58%.” – Food Business News, March 17, 2020
The above statistics are only a dip in the bucket of what’s happening, but they are strong, tell-tale signs. The demand for non-perishable and frozen foods, in particular, has gone through the roof. And that’s exactly why companies like Portco Packaging have planned well-ahead for these types of events and are successfully executing their emergency, food production-related plans. In fact, just today, US Homeland Security has declared Food Packaging to be an Essential Critical Infrastructure. This is no surprise as food packaging is a critical part of the consumer food supply chain.
For customers of Portco, the following letter was recently sent out from Kent Wall, Portco’s President. Click this link to download and read it.
This statement was also sent out to all of Portco’s customers by their V.P. of Sales, Linda Malmstadt:
“With the recent precautionary developments around COVID-19 of school closures, restaurant closures and recommendations around working remotely where possible, we are anticipating a sharp increase in demand for food packaging materials as food companies work to refill and backfill pipelines. In addition to implementing a robust safety and continuity plan (provided to you in a previous email), we are enacting measures around increasing our available supply of raw materials as well as filling the pipeline with orders from multiple suppliers for each given material that we work with. Your direct representative will be contacting you shortly to discuss any anticipated changes in the volume of packaging materials that you may require to ensure that we have a plan in place to address your anticipated needs.
We understand the important role that food companies are playing as families plan to be spending extended time at home, and the subsequent increase in demand for at home meal preparation. As a critical component of your supply chain, we are here to support you in these efforts.” – Linda Malmstadt, Portco Packaging V.P. of Sales
There is a great deal of information out there right now about COVID-19. So much information can be confusing. That said, the following links are highly-reputable and updated, daily, by the government. Explore these links to learn more about COVID-19 symptoms, what to do if you’re feeling sick, how to protect yourself and more.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Response
World Health Organization (WHO)
Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019
Washington State’s Response to COVID-19 (State Website)
A Gathering of Great Recipe Links at Portco
7 Ways Home Cooking Beats Eating Out
Stay safe out there! Practice strong, social distancing and stay at home if possible (not yet an official order in Washington State as of the writing of this post)! Wash your hands (a lot)! Enjoy closer family time and become an even better cook! We at Portco will continue to make all the necessary food packaging to keep your fridge, freezer and pantry stocked. Stay strong and keep your chins high!