It's a safe bet that nobody in the sweet-goods or pastry sectors, nobody anywhere, for that matter, expected still to be contending with COVID-19 a full year and a half after lockdowns threw the baking industry, and life as we know it, into upheaval.
The latest product handling equipment, cartoners, case erectors and packers, loaders and palletizers, are designed to meet the needs of bakery and snack producers as well as consumers in a fast-changing marketplace. These flexible systems can run a large array of SKUs and they feature quick-change capabilities.
Even though we are now nearing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have become comfortable with snacking more at home, including snacking on tortilla chips. This trend will continue through 2021, but consumers are also searching for better-for-you and plant-based tortilla chip options.
Brands in the snack-mix and nut spaces could be forgiven for waxing a little Dickensian as they look back on the year that was. For while the events that characterized 2020, and that persist, to an extent, today, don't quite measure up to "the best of times" or "the worst of times," they do tell something of "A Tale of Two Snacking Scenarios."
Puffed and extruded snacks have been a staple in pantries for many years. Recently, however, manufacturers have been upping their game, using clean-label ingredients and a variety of different flavors to attract new consumers to the category.
The crackers category is home to multiple iconic brands synonymous with snacking, including Cheez-It, Goldfish, and Ritz, all billion-dollar brands. As part of the foundation of the grain-based baking industry, crackers also present significant opportunities for growth through incrementally better-for-you offerings and highly innovative nutrition-forward products, as well as premium and specialized lines.
Variety is the spice of life when it comes potato chips. While classic chips still own the lion's share of the U.S. market, salty snack companies are offering new flavor combinations in a variety of packaging sizes. New flavors include spicy buffalo, hot BBQ and cauliflower, and many new offerings are gluten-free and Non-GMO Project verified.
Tortillas, always one of the most versatile breads, had extra mileage to accomplish this past year: consumers wanted better-for-you options for their tacos, flautas, and fajitas. They also wanted these to be easily accessible at their local grocery stores so that they could cook at home during the pandemic.