What a year. Without a doubt, Covid has had an unparalleled impact on the world in 2020 both professionally and personally. Despite the early signs of 2021 positivity with this week’s start to the vaccine roll out, there’s equally sure to be on-going ramifications for us all in the years ahead. Yet there is a ‘half glass full’ vista to our 2020 review.
As a company that specialises in products that help you take food and drink on-the-go, we, like the world, fell into the first lockdown with huge concerns of how the restrictions would impact our sales. We expected that with fewer people travelling to work, the demand for lunch boxes and water bottles would fall. Thankfully we were wrong.
One door closed and another opened. For those who have continued to go to work ‘as normal’ (…can we take this moment to say a big thank you to all those key workers), there are now fewer options for eating out, plus heightened concerns about catching Covid if you do, which has helped encourage more people to take their own food and drink with them.
For those working from home, a lunch box (and now in colder months our thermos food flasks) gives you a much needed excuse to escape the home office and get outside at lunch time. We're spending less time commuting, and this new free time has given many of us a chance to exercise and get fitter or simply grab ten minutes of fresh air and walk away from the laptop. As I wrote in a previous blog about the importance of getting outside to improve your general health (the Norwegians call it Friluftsliv), there seems to have been a shift in the way we work and live. People are realising the benefits of working from home. More people are taking bigger life decisions and questioning their careers in general and following the philosophy of 'living to work' (doing something you enjoy), rather than 'working to live' (not enjoying your work but needing to do it to fund your true passions).
Next up has been a rediscovery of our kitchens. We haven’t been able to eat out as much, so we’re cooking more at home. This passion for culinary creations has been good for lunch boxes, as more people want to take their own food with them and take advantage of the health benefits of knowing what they are eating. This has also helped our customers lead more sustainable lifestyles, by reducing their food waste and single use packaging from convenience take out foods.
In terms of our lifestyles in general, Covid has allowed us time to reflect on our lives, step back from the rat -race and reconsider what is really important. While we might not be travelling internationally, there has been a rise in local national travel and discovering places closer to home. The sudden shift to Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts has shown that people can work more remotely and not be tied to one office. Plus, with less international travel and more people being forced to take staycations, the 'day trip adventurer' has also started to realise the benefits of using a lunch box and water bottle. This hasn't just been a seasonal summer experience. As many countries entered into the second phase of lockdown pre-Christmas and with restrictions of meeting friends and family indoors, a lunch box or vacuum insulated food or drinks flask gives you the perfect opportunity to have that outdoor winter picnic (did someone say mulled wine and mince pies?) in the park this Saturday!
Lockdown has also made many people more aware of the environmental challenges the world faces and our need to protect nature before it is too late. As designers, we are fully aware of the impact we have, and our responsibility to make products that really deserve to exist. Now more than ever, we want to champion designs that will encourage our customers to lead more sustainable lifestyles. There is a growing market of people who are adopting the ‘buy once, buy well’ philosophy and we need to make sure our designs live up to this.
As we get closer to saying goodbye to 2020, we can all safely say that life might not be the same again, but hopefully we have all learnt from Covid. Sometimes it takes something of this magnitude to make us all stop and reflect on the way we live our lives. We’re excited about the future and believe our designs are well placed to feed in to the brave new world that emerges - so there’s our silver lining.