To the snack-mobile
Consumers lead active lives. Busy schedules demand foods that fit into those lifestyles. While fast food serves up drive-thru fare, today’s consumers are seeking healthier choices that fit their dietary needs. Many allergy-friendly and free-from diets necessitate that consumers pack their own snacks making convenience paramount for snacking choices. Snack food packaging is growing. According to the latest 12-week Nielsen data, fresh snacking was up 11% in dollar sales last year with single-serve fresh snack with components up 26%.
To meet consumer demand for fresh-snacks, Ready Pac Foods, Inc. has optimized its Ready Snax line. Not only has the company added flavors, but they’ve reworked the packaging to provide better convenience, portability and freshness for consumers. The new snacking trays are vertical to improve shelf shapes and feature new labels with expanded nutrition information. In addition to the snack tray, Ready Pac is introducing Ready Snax snack bags with sliced apples and carrots.
“By offering a wider variety of fresh snacking options, Ready Snax helps our customers find more ways to support their healthy eating initiatives this year without the boredom and limitation we traditionally think of in terms of healthy eating,” says Tristan Simpson, senior director of marketing and corporate communications at Ready Pac.
Up, up and away!
The stand up pouch keeps gaining shelf space for nearly every kind of food package. Stacy’s brand, building on their pita and bagel chips lines, has introduced Stacy’s Pretzel Thins in stand up packaging. The snacks offer a healthy, “anytime” treat in a 7-ounce package. The tucked bottom bag used for new Stacy’s Pretzel Thins is a patented design conceived by their packaging RD division. Culver Brand Designs (culverad.com) is responsible for the package. The package is not only made of flexible material, but it offers flexibility for supermarket shelving.
According to representatives for Stacy’s, the package design was chosen because of its stand-up feature. This type of package launched in 2012 with Stacy’s Pita Crisps product. The stand-up feature looks nice on shelf and allows the product to be merchandised without wire shelving, which makes it very flexible for the deli section where Stacy’s products are often sold.
With great snacking comes great resealability
Active consumers who pack snacks don’t want to pack separate containers or clips to corral the contents of opened packs. Even with the prevalence of single serve snacks, consumer still want the option to close the packs back up. The busy commuter grabbing a quick bite at a red light doesn’t want to spill all over the car. The mom of three wants a snack for her toddler, but doesn’t want to waste all the food the child doesn’t finish. Resealable packs offer convenient solutions for less-than-convenient situations.
Al Engstrom, plant manager for Giants Snacks, says the goals for a resealable solution were clear, “The packaging had to be pourable, with a half close. We also placed a high priority on the reliability of the zipper to secure and protect the contents.”
Creating this package required a team effort. TechniPac and Zip-Pak have more than a 10-year working relationship. The companies collaborated to develop a package for Giants Snacks that used the Pour & Lok closure. Giants also switched to Zip-Pak’s Vector closure for its most popular 5-ounce and 5.7-ounce sunflower seed packages. Vector offers a proprietary self-sealing matrix that closes without precise alignment. This offers tactile and audible feedback that the package is closed.
Giant’s dry salty snacks are gas-flushed to preserve freshness. Because of this a hermetic packaging barrier is needed. In order to ensure the package would tear evenly across the top of the zipper, leaving enough film for repeated openings and closing, Techinipac created a proprietary heat score in place of traditional perforation, which may have resulted in gas loss. The patent-pending heat score technology, prevent uneven tears that could make re-sealing and re-opening difficult or impossible.
Snack Pack Q&A
Food and Beverage Packaging asked Kari Dawson-Ekeland, director of marketing, center of store, Sealed Air’s (sealedair.com) Food Care division, about snack food packaging trends. Read the highlights here, and check out the full interview in our digital edition.
Food & Beverage Packaging: What do you see as the biggest packaging trends in snack food right now?
Kari Dawson-Ekeland: Today, consumers want to be able to pack and eat something wherever they are, whether that’s at work, school, in the car or elsewhere on the go. The industry is becoming more sensitive to this and producing packages that are smaller and easier for consumers of any age to access without losing or damaging their contents.
FBP: What do you think consumers want most from snack food packaging?
Dawson-Ekeland: …Reclosability has emerged as a must-have, rather than a nice-to-have, feature for consumers of all demographics.
FBP: What specific packaging innovations have been the most outstanding for snack food in the past year or so?
Dawson-Ekeland: To extend shelf-life for a wider range of snack components, more processors are implementing modified atmosphere packaging in conjunction with barrier films and other protective elements.