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Bakery and snacks firms: The packaging innovators

By Kacey Culliney , 17-Aug-2012

Snacks and bakery firms are at the forefront of packaging developments globally, says PMMI
Snacks and bakery firms are at the forefront of packaging developments globally, says PMMI

Investment in packaging developments is especially apparent among bakery and snacks manufacturers and it is a trend predominantly fuelled by retail demands, according to a new report.

The market assessment report of the bakery and snacks market conducted by US trade association PMMI found that manufacturers in this sector are investing the most efforts into packaging developments.

These investments form part of a burgeoning market with global snacks sales set to soar to US$334bn by 2015 and bakery sales to US$410bn, according to PMMI data.

“If there’s a trend in packaging, chances are bakery and snack manufacturers have seen it – or will,” the report said.

Paula Feldman, director of business intelligence at PMMI, said that historically it has been consumer eating habits driving new product development (NPD) and packaging alterations but that retail requirements are now define changes.

Findings from the PMMI assessment showed 42% of respondents said retailer demands are the main driving force for changes to primary packaging and 50% are making adaptations to overall processing and packaging operations to cater to retailers’ requirements.

Retailers push packaging changes

“In the bakery and snack foods arenas, retailers are specifying package sizes, multi-packs and variety packs to optimise shelf space, and they’re asking for retail-ready packaging for high-traffic areas,” Feldman said.

Just under a third of respondents said they are making adaptations to packaging according to requirements outlined by convenience and drug stores, she said.

One store-type in particular that is forcing packaging developments is the ‘dollar store’, she added, as those venues are requesting smaller portions that they can sell for $1.

Processing opportunities

This ever-changing packaging environment across the bakery and snacks sector has given rise to opportunities for processing equipment manufacturers, Feldman said.

“Todays’ baking and snack foods manufacturers want machines that can be flexible and run a variety of sizes, materials and packages; that are easier to clean and operate, ergonomically designed and reliable,” she said.

Functionality, support and integration are the key requests being made by this sector, she added. 

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