4 snacking trends and their packaging implications, from Mondelez innovator Gil Horsky

While the sit-down family dinner isn’t dead, it seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Today, consumers are more likely to snack throughout the day, even when socializing over the weekend.

What does this mean for packaging development and design? Gil Horsky, global innovation head from chocolate, biscuit, candy and gum brands powerhouse Mondelēz Intl., pinpoints four snacking trends that packaging designers can leverage to create product/package combinations that win consumers over. He is presenting these at the Food Vision conference (Mar. 1-3; London, UK) on Thurs., Mar. 2.

1. Mission Nutrition: From the addition of functional ingredients to catering for health conditions and intolerances, snack companies must meet consumers’ wellness agenda.

2. Pure Pleasure: From chocolate inhalers to lollipop cakes, clever producers are turning “snacks” into “experiences” that enliven and enrich.

3. Social Snacks: Consumers don’t want to snack alone. Sharing and personalization can turn snacking into a social activity.

4. Instant Everywhere: Buy-on-the-go lifestyles demand new retail and vending formats that make snack buying instant, affordable and fun.

Packaging Digest learns more from Gil Horsky about the future of snacking and packaging’s starring role.

Gil Horsky

 

You say that consumers expect a lot from their snacks today. Why is that? And how can/should food companies leverage packaging to deliver on their high expectations?

Horsky: One of the most significant changes that occurred in how people consume food is the way that snacks are encroaching upon the traditional meal-times. Younger consumers are swapping the more traditional three daily meals with five or six substantial snacks per day. It is amazing to think that a few decades ago the packaged snacking category hardly existed, while today it is one of the fastest growing food segments, with the number of daily snacking occasions constantly growing. With this increased role snacks play in people’s lives, their expectations of these snacks are on the raise.

Packaging is the dark horse of the marketing world. Compared with other marketing levers, it doesn’t receive enough attention, and its impact is still underestimated by many food and snacking manufacturers. However, it has been shown by Nielsen that optimized packs generate an average 5.5% increase in sales revenue, and can drive trial, build brand equity and serve as a key medium for communicating an innovation’s “job to be done.”

One mind-shift still required by many manufacturers, is the realization that they must place packaging exploration and development at the forefront of their innovation process. Some manufacturers focus only on the edible product and leave the packaging to the end of the process, as an after-thought. That approach has been proven not to work—to exceed consumer expectations of new snack offerings, packaging requires the same attention by marketers and product developers as the actual edible product receives.

 

Your “Mission Nutrition” point centers on consumers’ wellness agenda. Packaging graphics and labeling play an important role. What should packaging designers be focusing on in this regard?

Horsky: Allergies, intolerances and the rapid increase in conditions such as obesity and diabetes are shifting the way people think about snacking. Being healthy is becoming increasingly aspirational as consumers become more conscious about the food choices they make.

This also means consumers are expecting food companies to be part of the solution, and not the problem.

Developing the right brand positioning and corresponding packaging design plays a key role in communicating effectively to consumers those health-benefits. I am a big believer that—with regards to pack design and health benefits—less is more. Therefore, it is critical to have a clean design with a single-minded benefit, making it clear on pack to the consumer what is the one “job” this product will help them solve for.

A great example is Belvita Breakfast Biscuits (see photo above), a product that is single minded in its positioning and pack design that communicates clearly the benefit it provides of “4 hours of nutritious steady energy” to continuously fuel the consumer‘s body through the morning.

 

You talk about how snacks need to be more than just food; they need to be a “Pure Pleasure” experience. Does most packaging today add or distract from that? How can packaging enhance the encounter?

Horsky: With the growth of post-materialist values, pursuing happiness and expressing status is about more than wealth. People seek experiences that truly enable them to cherish the moment, which also explains why Mindfullness has become such a significant trend.

This transcends also to snacks—for example, from consumer research around the globe, we know that snacking on chocolate is often experienced as an intense moment of relaxation, momentarily releasing consumers from work and life pressures, offering the possibility of escapism and self-expression.

This means that snack manufacturers need to up their game and offer experiences to consumers and not just promote food intake. To do this right, marketers and designers need to maximize the role that the pack structure and pack design can play in enhancing those “pure pleasure” experiences.

For example, the recently launched Green & Black’s chocolate brand in the U.S. comes in beautiful packs that present a library of expertly crafted chocolates bars that enhance the overall consumption experience.

Le Whif from France, is another example of a unique pack structure that in essence creates a new way to consume chocolate by “breathing” it through your mouth rather than the traditional way of chocolate consumption via biting and chewing. The product is of course niche, but the execution is very disruptive in my opinion.    

 

One of the trends you’ve identified is “Social Snacks.” With snacking often replacing meals, consumers want to make it a more social activity, which involves sharing. Again, how can packaging help facilitate this?

Horsky: As many people feel isolated and stressed, they look for more ways to connect up with each other, especially with new easy social networking tools. As snacking becomes an integral part of consumers’ lifestyles, sharing these becomes another important way to create and augment social experiences. Even when snacking solo, consumers are looking for ways to avoid feeling like it is an isolating indulgence.

The fast technological evolution of digital printing and 3D printing have opened up new possibilities in terms of product and packaging personalization and sharing. A great example is Oreo’s customized Colorfilled packs, that consumers personalized online and either gifted or shared with their friends and family.

 

 

Portability continues to be a key consumer convenience, especially for snacking, which is often done while people are on the go. Explain how this “Instant Anywhere” trend is driving more innovation in packaging formats for retail and vending.

Horsky: Time is an increasingly precious resource and our multitasking lifestyles are propelling a need for short-cut solutions, as consumers expect products to simplify their lives. The hectic pace of modern life has fuelled the evolution of snacking and other on-the-go products. In fact, according to Mintel, the number of global food and drink launches with on-the-go claims increased by 54% in the past year.

New pack and product formats enable consumers to snack on-the-go with product categories they have never been able to do so before. Go Cubes is a great example of a product that offers chewable coffee cubes that provide the same caffeine as one cup of coffee. Another one is Paper Boat, a highly successful new brand in India that offers traditional Indian drink recipes in grab-and-go packaging with nostalgic graphics and illustrations.

I believe that moving forward some manufacturers will start leveraging their packaging to clearly communicate the selling point of the “time saved” by that specific food or drink product.

 

How can one snack, one package deliver on all these four points?

Horsky: The good news is that one snack doesn’t need to deliver on all of these. The snacking segment is large enough with multiple consumer needs and occasions, that single-snack offerings should be focused on solving specific consumer needs in specific occasions, instead of trying to do too many things in one offering.

 

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Learn what it takes to innovate in the packaging space at the new Advanced Design & Manufacturing Cleveland event (Mar. 29-30; Cleveland, OH). Register today!

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/food-packaging/4-snacking-trends-and-their-packaging-implications-from-mondelez-innovator-gil-horsky-2017-02-28

HPP putting healthy pressure on conventional processing methods

High pressure processing (HPP) systems vendor Hiperbaric shares an inside view on a market experiencing robust growth according to industry forecasts.

 

High-pressure processing (HPP), a nonthermal product treatment applicable for a wide range of food and beverages from juice to proteins, is an alternative method that’s putting pressure on conventional alternatives such as retorting and aseptic packaging.

Products are first packaged before the container is subjected to a maximum level of isostatic pressure during HPP treatment. It’s akin to a pressure cooker without the cooking, with enough force to kill bacteria, yeasts, molds and other potentially hazardous organisms. HPP also eliminates thermal degradation, a key distinction particularly for heat-sensitive products; the nonthermal process also retains products’ preprocessing nutrients and flavor. HPP products are distributed in refrigerated environments as an energy savings versus frozen distribution.

A recent report (Global High Pressure Processing Market: Trends Analysis & Forecasts to 2021) projects the HPP market to reach $1.1 billion by the end of 2021.

Another, High Pressure Processing Equipment Market – Global Trend & Forecast To 2022 published in January, foresees a robust $11.26% yearly growth rate—and a $500 million value—for the machinery segment of the market, seemingly a solid indicator reflective of HPP’s overall market growth prospective.

Packaging Digest sought an insider’s perspective in this interview with managers of HPP systems supplier Hiperbaric managers.

 

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Want to check fresh packaging options for your foods, beverages and other products? Consider UBM America’s newest design and manufacturing trade show and conference in Cleveland, OH, on March 29-30. Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Cleveland showcases five zones—packaging, automation and robotics, design and manufacturing, plastics and medical manufacturing. Visit http://admcleveland.com for more information.

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What are the key market drivers pushing HPP growth?

Hiperbaric: HPP continues to grow because it is providing manufacturers with the solutions to allow them to keep up with the paradigm shift in consumer behavior. Higher demand for clean-label products and a heavier emphasis on social and environmental responsibility leads to consumers opting for safer, high quality products.

 

This Suja Supergreens bottled beverage exemplifies the inroads made in the healthy drinks and juice market by HPP packaged products.

 

What product markets are you seeing most HPP activity in? Perhaps meats and related proteins?

Hiperbaric: Since our equipment was developed first to treat meat products there remains a significant amount of machines that are used for meat applications. However, since the huge growth of juices and drink products, a significant amount of our machine installs in 2016 were for these markets. In summary, juices and drinks and dips and meats are dominating the HPP market.

 

In what regions are you seeing the largest growth?

Hiperbaric: The U.S. saw an enormous growth last year and while Europe has been stable in the past few years, we expect big growth there in 2017 and in Oceania and throughout Asia.

 

What kind of packaging can be used?

Hiperbaric: When thinking of pressure, our intuition leads us to think that the more rigid a material is, the more resistant it will be to pressure and the better it would be. This is not the case with HPP, since a more flexible packaging will lead to a more even transmission of the hydrostatic pressure throughout the product. The packaging design is limited to flexible and waterproof designs, meaning glass, rigid plastics or metals would not work. 

 

How much of a constraint on growth is consumer confusion about the technology?

Hiperbaric: Educating customers is always a challenge with newer technologies. That is a key challenge facing HPP, but these days we see more consumers becoming familiar with the technology especially among the wellness foods space whose following is very stringent on the products they consume based on ingredients, how it’s processed, and the social responsibility of the brand.

HPP products continue to take over grocery-chain real estate along with new product offerings made with rare and unusual ingredients that are now available due to expanded distribution of HPP. Creating a better world with better food has always been our mission from the beginning and we continue to work with those who share our vision to accomplish exactly that.

 

For more information, visit Hiperbaric.

 

A related HPP breakthrough

 

You know a market’s healthy when a vendor develops a custom ink for it, which is what CTI did with an HPP ink launched in early 2017. Akin to color-changing ink-jet codes printed on food can lids prior to retorting that turn from red to blue to confirm sterilization, the CTI ink appears clear when printed before turning color  when exposed to high pressures. CTI reports that the first generation of the patent-pending HPP-indicator technology can differentiate between pressure exposure to less than 20,000 psi, to 20,000 psi and to 30,000 to more than 40,000 psi.

The CTI ink is presently available in water-based and ultraviolet (UV) cured inks and is applied to packaging the same as with conventional inks.

For more information, visit www.ctiinks.com

 

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/food-packaging/hpp-puts-pressure-on-alternative-processing1702

Crafty redesign improves beer bottle in production, on shelf and at home

Redesigned bottle for Peace Tree Brewing delivers unique shape with production and consumer benefits while standing out in the highly competitive craft beer market.

 

Peace Tree Brewing Co., founded in 2009 in a former Nash Rambler car dealership on Main Street in Knoxville, IA, is a craft brewery dedicated to brewing handcrafted, full-flavored beers. The product line of four flagship craft brews, as well as several seasonal and specialty beers have all proven successful.

Peace Tree came to Berlin Packaging wanting to modify its existing bottle to achieve a true 12-ounce fill on the production line (instead of 350 mL) and to change the neck finish to allow for easier opening. Importantly, Peace Tree also desired packaging that would help its product stand out in the highly-competitive craft-beer market. It also wanted a supplier that would ensure greater supply-chain efficiencies like just-in-time delivery of packaging, thereby allowing it to improve product availability.

Berlin responded with a custom 12-oz amber glass beer bottle designed by its Studio One Eleven innovation team. Launched in November 2016, the bottle solved the fill volume and neck-finish objectives while also reinforcing brand recognition and strength with its unique shape and distinctive embossments—all while working perfectly on the existing filling line equipment.

The new bottle launched in November 2016.

Jacob Pfitzenmaier, packaging consultant, Berlin Packaging, responds to Packaging Digest’s questions.

 

What more can be said about the bottle’s “unique shape and embellishments?”

Pfitzenmaier: The bottle departs from the traditional long-neck look to a distinctly stouter, thick-shouldered shape that is strong and substantial. The shorter neck and thicker body is an ergonomically superior set-up for easy pry-off opening; it’s easier to grab and pry off the 26mm Crown Finish top with one easy gesture.

The application of our distinct custom embossment elements to the neck finish was key to easier opening and grip. It also allowed for reinforced brand recognition.

 

What was the biggest challenge?

Pfitzenmaier: The biggest challenge was departing from the outgoing Canadian bottle, which was suited for a 350mL/11.835-oz fill, which meant it only had a brim-full capacity of 359mL/12.1-oz. The new bottle, which is a custom 12-oz amber glass shape, has a brim-full capacity of 386mL/13 oz. It is able to hold the correct 12-oz fill with ample headspace, while staying very close to the original diameter and height dimensions in order to allow for a seamless transition operationally on the production line. It fully solve the increased capacity challenge.

In addition, the outgoing bottle also had a transfer bead in the neck, which interfered with many church key openers, and actually resulted in broken necks during opening. Not the customer experience you want! The new standard neck shifts this bead down with a sloping angle, so as to alleviate the problem.

 

What’s been the bottle’s market reception?

Pfitzenmaier: The success is a bit too early to gauge, but the initial reaction to the new bottle has been very positive, and Peace Tree is enjoying increased production and stocking efficiencies.

 

For more information, visit Berlin Packaging or Studio One Eleven.

 

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Want better packaging for your beverage, food and more? Find that and a whole lot more at UBM America’s newest design and manufacturing trade show and conference in Cleveland, OH, on March 29-30. Advanced Design & Manufacturing (ADM) Cleveland showcases five zones—packaging, automation and robotics, design and manufacturing, plastics and medical manufacturing. Visit http://admcleveland.com for more information.

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Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/bottles/crafty-redesign-improves-beer-bottle-production-onshelf1702

How much automation do you really need on your packaging line?

Weigh the needs of your packaging operation as it relates to workforce interaction and skill, quality, safety, productivity and profitability when deciding to use semi-automated or fully automated packaging machines on your production line.

 

With the growing implementation of robotics and automation into production lines, various manufacturing sectors are able to reduce costs, provide even more consistent quality products and improve profit margins. But just how much automation do you really need on your packaging line?

Simply eliminating workers and oversight on the line does not always bring about greater efficiency. Manufacturers should understand the requirements of their lines to select the right level of automation. Will semi- or fully automated packaging equipment meet their needs?

 

Differences between semi- and fully automated lines

Depending on its use, full or partial automation can greatly assist manufacturers in achieving their business goals. The differences between the two hinge on one major factor: employee interaction. Fully automated lines operate with little to no workforce involvement, while semi-automated lines rely on some employee interface to maintain operations.

There are advantages and disadvantages depending on the circumstances. Both semi-automated and fully automated operations have a proven track record of reducing production costs, increasing profits and improving product quality.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each one separately.

 

Considerations of semi-automation

Semi-automated manufacturing lines give way to a collaborative model that allows automated robots and equipment to operate alongside employees on the manufacturing floor. While employee interaction along a packaging line requires consideration for human error and safety concerns, it can also help manufacturers increase line flexibility.

Not all applications require the high speeds or positioning accuracy of fully automated packaging systems. Sometimes a semi-automatic solution provides the right level of flexibility and affordability. Photo courtesy of Piab.

 

Employees can think critically about problems that can occur on the manufacturing floor that are beyond what any machine is equipped to handle. Instead of awaiting feedback from machines themselves, a skilled workforce has the ability to work with equipment to ensure any machine stoppages are addressed in real time, rather than relying on machinery to properly correct errors on their own.

This model provides the opportunity for continuous improvements along the line for smooth production and an increase in efficiency. However, a major challenge among manufacturers across various industries in the Unites States today is acquiring, developing and retaining skilled employees, which can necessitate greater steps toward a fully automated line.

 

Considerations of full automation

By implementing a fully automated system, manufacturers eliminate significant levels of workforce on the production line. These processes are especially suitable for the pharmaceutical and meat and poultry industries. According to a report from FDAnews, human error accounts for nearly 80% of deviations in the pharmaceutical and related manufacturing industries. By fully automating product lines and reducing workforce interaction, pharmaceutical manufacturers can continue to improve such deviations and ensure customer satisfaction.

In the meat and poultry industry, manufacturers focus mainly on quality and sanitation. By removing the human element, food processors can help decrease the risk of product contamination. Fully automated lines can help ensure that manufacturers are complying with the latest Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations and help improve product quality and safety.

Additionally, fully automated lines can help to guarantee safety of the workforce on the manufacturing floor. As automation equipment design improves to allow for safer employee interfaces, the workforce can increasingly interact with equipment without compromising safety and skilled workers are able to interact with automation equipment remotely. Fully automated equipment can help increase employee safety on the line without compromising product quality.

 

Scope out solutions

As automation advances revolutionize manufacturing, it’s imperative for packaging engineers to keep up with the latest technologies. Manufacturers looking to automate their packaging lines with semi- and fully automated equipment can find many solutions on the show floor at Pack Expo East (Feb. 27-Mar. 1; Philadelphia).

Exhibitors at Pack Expo East are taking major steps in automation along product lines with the intention of helping end users comply with the latest regulatory and safety standards while increasing efficiency and product quality. Event attendees can also learn tips and gain more insight at the Innovation Stage, a series of 30-minute sessions in which a range of solutions and case histories will be shared by subject matter experts addressing automation, regulatory compliance, workforce development and best practices. The Innovation Stage is located on the show floor and is free to all attendees.

 

Sean Riley is the senior director, Media & Industry Communications, for PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. PMMI owns and organizes the Pack Expo portfolio of trade shows. He began his work with PMMI in 2006 as editor of its Packaging Machinery Technology magazine. He is a member of various industry organizations including the International Packaging Press Organization (IPPO) and the American Society of Business Press Editors.

 

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/automation/how-much-automation-do-you-really-need-on-your-packaging-line-2017-02-24