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
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.
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.