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Packaging can make the unseasonal seasonal, says analyst

By Kacey Culliney , 07-Dec-2012

The bakery and snack sector is not generally seasonal and is comprised of staples, but manufacturers can exploit the lucrative Christmas period through packaging design, an analyst says.

With the Christmas onslaught underway, shelf-space battles and consumer wins are on the mind and for bakery and snack firms, the period is a core slot in the calendar.

Ildiko Szalai, analyst at Euromonitor International, said that due to the unseasonal nature of the sector, investments in packaging must be made to draw consumers in.

“Most bakery and snack items count as staples and they are available all year round. So to gain consumer interest over the Christmas period, it is about added value through innovation in packaging and marketing,” Szalai told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“While the bakery and snacks market doesn’t have strong seasonal features…the Christmas period is very important for manufacturers and business does pick up,” she said.

“It’s not about what the products are; it is about how they are positioned in terms of packaging, promotion and marketing,” she said.

Szalai said companies are also working to elongate the period through packaging solutions; positioning products as broader winter goods, not just for Christmas.

Consumer trend influences

Christmas or winter-themed packaging will draw business in, Szalai said, but key consumer trends must not be forgotten.

“We are seeing a convenience and snacking Christmas trend in the market...Manufacturers are really trying to satisfy on-the-go convenient consumption as well as value for money simultaneously.”

These trends are shaping a market drift towards single-serve, re-sealable snack packs as well as multi-pack, sharing options, she said.

Flavorsome innovating?

Szalai said that within the bakery and snacks segment a level of flavor development would drive business but advised on nothing too ‘different’.

“It’s less about finding a very novel flavor and more about using traditional, familiar, warm flavors of the season like apple, cinnamon and ginger.”

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