Harpak-ULMA recently announced that its packaging lines are now responsible for producing over 1 billion refrigerated snack tray packages each year in the US and Canada. The company estimates the region's market production in this profitable food industry subsegment at 2 billion snack tray packages per year and growing at a CAGR of 7-9 percent annually. Snacking has been replacing meals as a convenient and healthy option, driving evolution from child-focused snack kits to premium charcuterie meats and cheeses or smaller do-it-yourself salad kits.
Jim Ryan, Harpak-ULMAs’ SVP, believes the market will continue its trend towards more savory snacks as consumer interest in healthier, more convenient options persists. He noted that consumers appear to increasingly prefer snacks that deliver more satiation and fullness, which is often associated with full, savory foods such as cheese and meats. “We’ve been instrumental in helping many of the country’s major producers gain a substantial foothold in this growing market subsegment,” says Ryan. “We help them leverage legacy lower-margin products into high-margin opportunities through innovative and cost-effective high-speed tray packaging.”
Carlo Bergonzi, the company’s product line manager for this segment, believes Harpak-ULMA’s deep knowledge of the necessary components and ability to integrate them in a high-speed automatic solution proved crucial to their first successful and highly competitive snack tray line design years ago. “When you combine that experience with the breadth of equipment we're able to supply—the Mondini Platformer that makes trays, thermoformers, and ULMA’s secondary or tertiary end of line packaging automation equipment—it’s clear we can offer a turnkey approach to automatic tray packaging lines. At this point, we’re experts at helping producers—as well as co-packers—get into the high-speed, high-volume tray snacking business,” said Bergonzi.
US and Canadian food processors have collectively installed over 50 Harpak-ULMA lines for production of refrigerated snack trays. The company’s reputation as the market leader for refrigerated snack tray packaging has been built steadily over the last decade, helped by a hyper-focus on meat and cheese as one of its core packaging markets. The recent introduction of Mondini’s Platformer has built on that success. The Platformer allows producers to make their own custom trays rather than using preformed trays. The process eliminates up to 38 percent of the material cost associated with preformed trays and makes it even easier for producers to compete effectively in new markets with differentiated packaging at highly competitive costs.
Kevin Roach, CEO of Harpak-ULMA, explained that this achievement is an important milestone in the company’s growth. His vision emphasizes a customer-centric culture capable of delivering complete solutions, from package and automation design through commissioning and support of the entire automated packaging line. “Food producers and co-packers who have pivoted their product strategy to diversify into the high-speed, high-volume tray snacking have turned to Harpak-ULMA because of our deep knowledge and turnkey approach. Our most successful customers are accessing new and growing markets, enjoying better total cost of ownership, and raising productivity by leveraging innovative, emerging digital technologies—and relying on our team to help them achieve these,” Roach said. “But the real secret sauce is building our culture around customer-centricity. We reinforce the need to see our solutions through the customer's eyes—and that means finding ways to help them grow and expand their business.”
For more information on Harpak-ULMA fresh snack solutions, visit https://www.harpak-ulma.com/market-segments/food-packaging-machine or call 800-813-6644.