The bakery market’s retail value in North America increased significantly from 2008 to 2013. According to Euromonitor International, in 2008, the market in North America was worth $24.2 billion; by 2013, the retail value had grown to $26.4 billion, an increase of about 9 percent.

In emerging markets, such as the Middle East and Africa, the growth over that time period was much more pronounced. The 2008 value of the bakery market in this region was $15.8 billion and increased to $20.7 billion by 2013. This represents a 31 percent increase in just five years.

In order to translate this industry growth into sales growth, baking and snack brand owners must update their processing and packaging operations with technologies that position them ahead of the curve.


Evolving Consumer Demands

A January 2014 report from Mintel states that 47 percent of Americans consume snacks at least once daily, while 35 percent eat snacks to replace regular meals. The prevalence of snacking, fueled in part by many consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles, presents opportunities – and challenges – that baking and snack brand owners will soon find themselves navigating.   

The evolution of what consumers look for in snacks represents a major opportunity for the baking and snack industry. Addressing changing customer demands centering on convenience, portability, portion control, and healthfulness can help baking and snack brand owners gain an edge over the competition. One especially important trend is the popularity of variety packs. According to PMMI’s 2012 Bakery and Snacks market assessment, retailers often consider the use of variety packs a powerful merchandising tool because these packs offer choice to the consumer. The assessment found that 31 percent of the bakery and snack manufacturers surveyed produced variety packs and individual serving sizes for their merchant clients. Paying close attention to these kinds of developments is critical for baking and snack owners to stay ahead.


Challenges for Baking & Snack Brand Owners

Increasing demand for convenience-enhancing and on-the-go products, as well as healthy options and gluten-free products, can present significant challenges as well as opportunities for baking and snack brand owners. For example, the addition of gluten-free options to a manufacturer’s product portfolio requires thorough cleaning measures. Manufacturers may need to invest in easy-to-clean or modular equipment to reduce changeover time between batch runs and maximize flexibility. As another example, producing variety packs is a time-consuming, multi-step process that can significantly slow down a manufacturer’s packaging line. The baking and snack industry can address this challenge by using FFS (form/fill/seal) machines to increase line speeds and productivity.


A Destination for Solutions

PACK EXPO International 2014 will provide a resource for baking and snack industry professionals to find the latest technologies to make the most of the baking and snack market’s growth. From material and container solutions to enhance consumer convenience to solutions that maximize flexibility, sustainability, efficiency, shelf life, supply chain security and more, the show will provide access to the innovations and insights these companies need to gain the competitive edge.  

Attendees can navigate through the expansive show floor by utilizing guide posts such as The Baking-Snack Break Lounge which will allow industry professionals to meet with suppliers, network with peers, and ask experts for advice. The innovation stages located throughout the show floor will also deliver free, convenient education on a wide range of trends and challenges affecting baking and snack manufacturers. Additionally, The Processing Zone, located in Upper Lakeside Hall, will provide solutions for baking and snack manufacturers seeking a unified approach to their processing and packaging operations.