The ‘Beige Gold’ phenomenon
30 Mar 2021
We have heard corrugated called some things over the years but in recent weeks the term ‘beige gold’ has been coined as demands on the industry have turned the spotlight on material supply.
Whilst some claims in the media have been over exaggerated sparking debate, we believe it to be nothing more than a perfect storm of a number of factors that have resulted in the current, but temporary, situation.
With non-essential retail outlets closed for in excess of 30 weeks out of the last 52, shoppers have had no alternative but to buy products online. And, with the exception of clothing and some other robust goods, everything is shipped to the consumer in corrugated packaging. Indeed, in the run up to Christmas an extra 200m packages were sent over and above usual volumes.
At home dining and drinking
At the beginning of the pandemic, it was estimated that 20% of all meals consumed were done so away from the home. This has translated into much more food and drink being purchased for home consumption either through supermarkets, home delivery services or takeaways. As such, an increased level of packaging has been required to facilitate this. Furthermore, with the UK having the world’s third largest market for drinking at home, there has been additional requirements from breweries, distillers and vineyards who have switched to online, deliver direct retail in an effort to survive, and in response to the highest levels of demand ever seen.
With the final Brexit deal only being announced a week before the deadline many businesses had faced uncertainty for weeks ahead. This led to the stockpiling of goods and packaging to enable supply chains were not broken should the need have occurred.
The impact of the pandemic has also demanded an increase in corrugated packaging. Boxes for test kits, vaccines, sharps boxes, chemicals, hand wash and sanitise and PPE have either peaked or have simply been new packaging solutions that had never been required before. Similarly, the changes to our lifestyles has seen huge spikes in home office furniture and supplies, home gym equipment, garden tools and furniture and DIY products most of which requires corrugated packaging to move through the supply chain.
Gareth Stell, UK Sales Director, Logson Group commented; “These are unusual times for our industry however, not entirely unexpected when the changing face of how we acquire all goods has shifted so significantly in the last 12 months. The team at Logson Group are working together to facilitate customer requirements in as timely manner as practicable and are communicating with those customers regularly to manage expectations and maintain supply.
“We expect that demand will remain high for the foreseeable future, but our confidence remains high in not only how we manage the situation, but also the wider paper and corrugated industries.”
Further information about the position of the industry can be found by visiting https://thecpi.org.uk/library/PDF/Public/Publications/Position%20Papers/PP_CorrugatedCardboardStatement_Feb2021.pdf