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Retailers pushing bake and snack companies to re-package

A new report from PMMI finds that retailers are behind the recent push to more innovative packaging in the bake and snack sector


Reston, Va. – According to a recent report, it’s often the bakery and snack industry that’s investing in new packaging and it’s the retail industry that’s behind the push.

The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) released Bakery and Snacks – Market Assessment 2012 in August.

PMMI says that historically changes in consumer eating habits drives new product development.

But in 2012, the driving force switched to the retailer as many have their own specifications for the products they carry.

Retailers pushing for innovative packaging

In fact, many retailers are specifying package sizes, multi-packs and variety packs that better optimize shelf space, and retail-ready packaging for high-traffic areas.

Even convenience, drug and dollar stores have their own sets of requirements and more than a quarter of bake and snack companies are developing packaging accordingly.

In a survey PMMI conducted, 42 per cent of bake and snack company respondents said retailer demands were the main reason these manufacturers were changing their primary packaging.

Also, 50 per cent of bake and snack respondents said they’re implementing changes in their processing and packaging operations to accommodate retailers’ packaging requirements.

To accommodate the myriad changes in the bakery and snack product marketplace, manufacturers are turning to packaging machinery original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“Their requests fall into three categories: functionality, support and integration,” says Paula Feldman, director of Business Intelligence at PMMI.

“The OEM that wants to meet those needs will do best to build a relationship with the manufacturer and collaborate in the design process.”

This type of partnering will help OEMs better understand needs for machine cleanliness and sanitation, the features and functionality, and automation.

“Today’s 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. They need OEMs to clearly communicate recommended cleaning schedules and to provide knowledgeable technical support,” she says. “That’s in addition to integrated lines, remote connectivity and the like.”