The snacks packaging machine market worldwide is growing and evolving every day. The number of consumers and varieties of snacks keeps increasing, as snacks are now a staple of modern lifestyles. Quite frankly, people love to munch on snacks. Anytime, anywhere. From crisp potato chips and nuts to cereals, kurkures, corn chips, a wide range of namkeen and many more, snacks are here to stay.
Packaging snacks can be challenging. Retail, both on store shelves and online, is changing how producers target their consumers. Besides shelf-ready packaging in bulk and medium quantities, the trend of single-serve packs keeps growing as these smaller packs offer economy, convenience and easy-to-carry mobility to the modern consumer.
Flexible packaging is the preferred packaging worldwide for many snacks – from salty-snack bags to pouches of candy or biscuits. According to the 2018 “Snack Foods – Packaging and Processing Market Assessment and Trends” report from PMMI, the top consumer snacking trends are better-for-you snacks, single-serve portions, resealability, flavor variety and combination snacks. The top retail packaging trends are shelf-ready packaging, stand-up pouches and lower case counts.
Flexibility Is Vital For Snack Packaging
Snack producers are making variety packs ranging from two to seven flavors. They also request different types of bags from pillow to stand-up pouches to vertical zip bags. Producers also demand many sizes of bags and pouches, from single-serve to stock-up size. Different products and product blends, bag sizes, pouch formats and weights mean many changeovers and adjustments must be made between runs.
So when it comes to snacks packaging machine, the No. 1 demand from consumer packaged goods companies is flexibility. Getting the most variety out of the least amount of equipment is often the key to success in snack packaging.
The most popular snacks packaging machine come in the vertical form fill seal (VFFS) format. These automated VFFS machines are preferred for their smaller footprint, which saves valuable floor space, and selection is based on the machine’s flexibility to handle different package lengths, bag styles and fillers for varied products.
Snack producers also consider the level of automation and ease of operation. Modern electronics enable VFFS machines to open the scales in the correct sequence also confer product-handling flexibility, because they can be programmed to accept a great variety of product. Whether they are handling snack foods whose pieces are alike except for their size and weight, like potato chips, or completely different, like mixed nuts, it usually takes just a few touches of a screen or keypad to alter the program that governs the in feed volume and scales’ opening and closing.
Flexibility in snack packaging often extends to changes in the type of film used. For instance, metallized vs. plain or different sealant-layer strength (which can be necessitated by differences in product weight and density). Modern VFFS machines have features like nip rollers and power unwinds that can accommodate these variations by changing the speed and tension with which the film is handled.
Reclosable zippers is another growing trend in large flexible snack bags, with multiple servings intended to last for days or weeks. These can either come with the original machine or be retrofitted into existing equipment.
However, while flexibility in applications and pouch formats is vital, ease and speed of changeover is equally important. Producing the same product continuously or switching from one to another in succession should be easy, tool-less and happen with minimum time loss.
Selecting Flexible Equipment for Snack Packaging
As stated earlier, flexible snack packaging is challenging, but with the right partner and intelligently chosen equipment, the demands can be met.
Nichrome, India’s leading integrated packaging solutions provider, with over 4 decades of industry experience, can help. Nichome has a range of VFFS, HFFS and Multilane packaging machines for flexible snack packaging. Nichrome has even innovated a unique entry-level snack packaging machine designed for startups and SMEs – Wing 200 E-Line Snack Pack.
Whether you are contemplating pouch packaging for your snacks, seek to improve efficiency of your existing packaging line or wish to expand your product and pouch range, Nichrome’s integrated packaging solutions can ensure desired outcomes. Talk to Nichrome to discover the most appropriate, flexible and cost-effective solution for your snack production unit.