Packaging Trends for Sweets and Snacks 2018

attendees at Sweet and Sback Expo 2018

The US National Confectioners’ Association’s 2018 Sweets & Snacks Expo took place in Chicago recently. Over 800 manufacturers displayed their products. Nearly 18,000 industry professionals from more than 90 countries are reported to have visited the Expo. An article by Jennifer Spinner in Packaging Digest reported on the 10 new sweet and snack packaging trends seen at the Expo.

Below we have summarised the article.

Here are the 10 new trends and nifty items which were on display:

1. Contrasting ideas

Typically, snack manufacturers put their savoury foods and sweet treats in packaging with a shiny, glass finish. Now, brands are trying matte-finishes to impart a smoother look. At the Expo many brands displayed products with a mix of matte and spot coated elements, offering an interesting contrast.

2. Solo Snacking

Sally Lyons Wyatt of IRI, told attendees at the expo that snacking tends to be a solitary experience with Americans snacking 2.5 times a day. Younger generations snack even more. Offering single serve options – particularly ones that are in line with healthy choices – are on the rise. Cookies are among these such as Cookie+ Protein.

3. Cake Bites

Foodstirs Cartons
With the success of meal prep kit businesses eg. Hello Fresh, consumers do enjoy a do-it-yourself approach to eating, sometimes with a little head start. With that, mug cakes were food at numerous places on the show floor, such as the organic offerings from actress Sarah Michelle Gellar’s powerhouse Foodstirs.

4. Downsized Delectables

Consumers may sometimes only want a small treat but the snack they’re craving may only come in large, mega-calorie versions. Now, manufacturers, such as JJ’s Bakery, are meeting this desire with downsized versions of traditional treats.

5. Multi-part Munchies

A number of snack manufacturers showcased products with multiple components, separating the ingredients for the consumer to mix. Reasons for the divisions, range from preventing crunchy ingredients from absorbing moisture and providing an interactive experience. Examples include Purely Elizabeth’s Oatmeal, with the crunchy part in a separate component on top.

6. Same Sweets, New Format

Putting an existing product into a new container can lead to innovation that connects with new consumers. An example found on the show floor: Long Ball Licorice’s Round Tripper, which puts traditional licorice in a multi-layer pack that mocks a chew pouch.

7. Fun with Branding

When a blockbuster or action movie is about to be released, the studio puts the heroes on all types of packaging on every shelf. A more fun approach to entertainment branded products could be seen at the expo which tied promo and product closer together. One example is Van Holten’s Pickle Rich pouch which depicts a beloved ‘Rick & Morty’ line.

8. Makeover Time

It’s rare that a consumer packaged good never gets a makeover. Both Smarties candy and Kar’s Nuts snacks both unveiled makeovers of their longstanding logos and packs at the show.

9. Hip Chicks

Before the event, NCA representatives predicted chickpeas to be a hot ingredient in many products. And they were right, garbanzo beans featured in all sorts of products. Many were savoury, such as Hippeas chickpea puffs but some were sweet, with companies coating the chickpeas with things like chocolate.

10. Rice is Nice

Consumers increasingly care about their health and weight. More people are avoiding ingredients like gluten. This could be why a growing number of manufacturers are coming out with rice based edibles. One example found at the show is Crunchy Rollers snacks.

You can read the full article here