© bodyartimages / fotolia.com

Around 330 tonnes of sweets are thrown to spectators during the Cologne Carnival Procession – the weight of half a German intercity train. In Düsseldorf the volume of sweets thrown to onlookers is 45 tonnes – the weight of a chain excavator. Source: bahnmobil, Feb. 2016. © bodyartimages, fotolia.com

Sweets and snacks: trends and outlook

Confectionery is always popular – not just during the German Carnival season.

The Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) estimates that their country’s production volume for confectionery and snacks was 3.99 million tonnes in 2015. This was a 0.2 per cent increase compared with the previous year. BDSI also estimates that the sales increase was approx. 2.6 per cent, i.e. EUR 12.58 billion. For the time being, expectations for 2016 are therefore cautiously optimistic in the industry. Caution is due to high prices for imported raw materials, a rise in competitive pressure, both nationally and internationally, and an increase in government regulations.

One area where the industry is hoping to see the greatest amount of growth is snacks sold at major events, such as the European Football Championship and the Summer Olympics, with additional stimuli from disposable packages this year. Moreover, experts can currently see a trend towards personalised products, such as chocolate bars bearing the customer’s signature and customised muesli mixtures. These are areas where the packaging industry can provide state-of-the-art solutions.

More than 30 kilograms of sweet and savoury snacks per capita per year

© PHOTOPRESS/Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG

Easy to open: today’s lifestyle-conscious customers expect to see pre-cut notches to open the packaging, sealed tear-off strips, ring-pull openings, snap caps or zip closures to allow convenient opening and reclosure. © PHOTOPRESS, Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG

Confectionery is part of life. Germany’s average per-capita consumption is over 30 kilograms for chocolate, snacks and baked goods. However, expectations on confectionery have been rising, and thus also the demand for new packaging materials. Products created by 3D printers must be packaged in ways that avoid breakage. Anyone with a vegan lifestyle would expect to see not only organically grown ingredients, but also sustainable packaging materials. Unusual nut-fruit mixtures with six or more components can only be packaged with any precision if the manufacturer uses innovative machinery with multihead weighers or highly accurate dosing devices.

Growing requirements on machinery

 © ecobrotbox

Lovechock is one of the first chocolate bars packaged in biodegradable cellulose film. Working with the Dutch chocolate manufacturers, the packaging is made by a young company in Berlin that specialises in stainless steel lunch boxes and sandwich boxes. © ecobrotbox

New customer requirements have led to new requirements on plants and machinery. It is important to ensure consistently high quality and therefore the careful processing of sensitive bulk materials, such as cranberries and Brazil nuts as well as resealable plastic cups and cans. A balanced product flow and accurate feeding are ensured, among other things, through vibration control. Also, there is a demand for processing and packaging systems that can be converted quickly and are easy to maintain, allowing, for instance, fast conversion from resealable family packages to single-item confectionery.
Not just nice to eat, but also attractive to look at: the finishing plays a major role in confectionery packaging. Bold, striking colours serve to attract children and young people, while customers who prefer understatement and high-quality products enjoy chocolate products in plain black-and-white premium packaging, silver, gold and bronze prints, high-quality foil and embossed prints. © PHOTOPRESS, Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG
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