Long-life Packaged Bread Increasingly Popular in Asia
Due to the high moisture content of bread and baked goods, suitable packaging needs to meet special requirements to counter the growth of mould whilst at the same time preventing the goods from becoming hard and dry or losing their aromas. Especially on a market better known for its high rice consumption, bread and baked goods sales are steadily increasing – and with them the demand for appropriate packaging.
According to studies by the market research company Euromonitor International, more and more consumers are purchasing pastry and bread in Pacific Asia. The demand for specific packaging solutions to ensure the products have a long shelf life is increasing accordingly, as bread and baked goods are particularly vulnerable to mould growth due to their high moisture content. At the same time, packaging has to prevent the products from quickly becoming dry and hard or losing their aromas.
Faster production lines, an increase in exports to foreign markets and special marketing ideas: For many baked goods companies and the packaging industry, this is the answer to the increasing demand for bread and baked goods. Photo: Jeswin Thomas from Pexels
According to numbers provided by the market research company Euromonitor International, the total market for packaged foods in Pacific Asia is expected to increase by 3.5 percent per year by 2023; in many Asian countries, sales of packaged baked goods have been increasing steadily since as early as 2011.
Frozen baked goods particularly popular
A study by global market research company KBV Research has forecast even greater growth. However, this applies to frozen baked goods. By 2024, market growth in Pacific Asia is expected to increase by an annual average of 10.4 percent. In India, the increase is expected to be around 13 percent.
Composite barrier films ensure longer shelf lives
Due to the high moisture content of baked goods, packaging materials need to prevent the growth of mould without the goods becoming dry and hard or aromas fading.
In India, until recently bread was traditionally packed in wax paper. However, due to the increased demand, nowadays almost 80 percent of all bread is packed in plastic films made out of polyethylene or polypropylene with high barrier composites.
The ingredients that go into the bread are also becoming more important. 2017 saw a total of 25 new introductions in the field of sourdough products in Pacific Asia, with an increase to 73 in 2018. Here, Japan and Australia are leading the way. The total sourdough bread market is expected to increase by an annual average of 8 percent by 2022. The demand for lactose and gluten-free baked goods is increasing at a similar rate.
The Asian market is known around the world for its technical innovations. So it is not really surprising that a supermarket in Shanghai offers its customers a special shopping experience whilst at the same time attempting to counter the growing e-commerce competition. In the automated supermarket the baked goods are baked and packaged by robots instead of by humans. At the exit, customers merely have to use their smartphone to scan the 2D barcode on the packaging, paying for the goods as they do so.