The versatile puffed and extruded snack segment is answering the call of consumers who want to try different flavor profiles and combinations. On the traditional side, products such as Cheetos continue to prosper in the marketplace. In fact, total annual sales for cheese snacks just reached $2.1 billion. Through a balance of tradition and forward-thinking innovation, this segment represents the best of both worlds.
The buns and rolls segment showed pockets of growth, with a mix of gains and losses across the board. While traditional products still maintain the lion’s share of the buns and rolls category, growth in gluten-free, organic and healthy options are starting to pick up.
Cold-chain management—an essential aspect of many snack and bakery operations today—has entered a brave new world characterized by sophisticated temperature monitoring and tracking technology connected by the Internet of Things (IoT).
The latest bagging and closing equipment—performing everything from bagging and tying to heat-sealing—is flexible and able to produce a variety of bag styles. Also, modular machine designs allow for layout flexibility and scalability, which lets producers expand their production capacity.
Automation is the key element in the evolution of product handling equipment often seen in the snack and bakery market. Cartoners, case packers, palletizers and similar equipment increase productivity while handling a wide range of packaging styles.
The latest metal detection and X-ray inspection equipment can detect small foreign objects, reduce false rejects and handle a wide range of products, which is good news for bakery/snack producers who are striving to improve their quality control programs.
Consumers are demanding a much wider range of snack products and baked goods. By adapting the packaging design and look of their product, producers can easily update their portfolio to help maintain visibility and market relevance.