Dry food & snacks

Dried food products refers to the foods which are preserved by removing the moisture through various methods. The market for dry food product is mature but continues to grow with the overall food market growth driven by new drying methods and packaging innovation making products more convenient to buy, carry and consume. The dried food market expect a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period 2018 to 2023 (1)

The global dried processed food market is dominated by North America, with 32% of the market share. The prepared dried foods market in North America is driven mainly by the rising demand from the urban demographic, who needs a sustainable replacement for conventional meals. Europe is the second largest market driven by the established sedentary lifestyles and the rising number of working females interested in simple to cook and longer-timeframe of realistic usability items. In the Asia-Pacific region, China is the largest consumer and producer of dried processed food due to the steady development of the quick service restaurants industry, the traditional use of many dry foods in the local cuisines, and the rapid urbanization.

Snack food is a more recent market showing a major growth in FMCG. A rare global growth story, snacks are satisfying consumer cravings around the world. The snacking business is showing a CAGR of 5.7% between 2018 and 2022 (2).

The demand for the convenience of dry foods and snack is driven by the global urbanization, people on-the-go and overall consumer life style changes. Dried food and snack products created the demand in the market due to various factors like non-seasonal availability, increased shelf-life, prevention of food spoilage, low price, user friendliness, wide areas of distribution. the demand for snack food has soared around the world, especially in emerging markets. Europe remains the largest market followed by Asia Pacific and USA. However snacks are also surging in emerging economies and geographies. Countries like Argentina, Vietnam, Slovakia, Hungary Baltics, Mexico, Philippines are growing in double digits. Overall the consumers are not buying more but spending more for products perceived to be healthier and convenient.

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Millennials [ages 24-37], Generation X [ages 38-48], and Generation Z [ages 0-23], are driving much of the growth in better-for-you snack food consumption between and during meals. Their positive attitude towards snacking, the desire to eat more healthily, and need for convenience are the main reasons behind the growth in this category.

When it comes to snacks, consumers aren’t trading convenience for quality. As with other categories, they are striving to be more mindful snackers and searching for clean labels and informative packaging. Many indulgent snack manufacturers have heard this message loud and clear and have enhanced packaging and cleaned up their ingredient lists. These steps are indicative of a larger trend where packaging is part of the core product.

The overall market is concentrated as more than 50% of the dried food market is controlled by the top ten players. The small and medium players are dealing in smaller and niche markets. New product launches, innovative flavors, gluten-free products, and mergers and acquisitions with local players, have been strong business strategies for market growth.

Retail and shelf ready packaging is growing fast in the food market, especially for dry and snack food. Brand positioning, visual disruption are key success factors. Such new boxes call for sophisticated packaging designs and high-end cutting and folding machinery.

Healthy food trend is creating new opportunities within snacking and adjacent categories. In the U.S., companies have found success in the “snackable” fruit and vegetable category, such as grapes or baby carrots. These large volume produced items are packaged into individual servings driving demand for more packaging. Think about dried fruit and nut snack packs, small fresh smoothies, fruit cups and more to come.

Consumers are eating up this “on-the-go” snacking sub-category. Their hunger has driven the growth of this category at a CAGR of 10% between 2012 and 2016. Snacks have the benefit of sitting at the crossroad between healthy and indulgence. This gives companies the opportunity to innovate across this spectrum and combine local preferences and convenience. The most important task in the snack food market is to act fast to get ahead of policy and consumer trends.

The quest for healthier lifestyle will have to be combined with the new sustainability requirements. Packaging for dry food, and snacks especially, is perceived as part of the single-use plastic debate and overall packaging recycling regulations. Packaging innovation - both in design and with new substrates - will play a key role.

BOBST solutions

Packaging for dry food and snack is a major priority for BOBST. Innovative and more convenient packaging designs require cutting-edge solutions. As the package design is the ultimate touch point and image builder of dry food and snacks, the printing press must deliver superior quality printing consistently reproduced on each product batch. In CI flexo printing, the 20SEVEN, designed with extended color gamut printing requirements in mind, is the spot-on solution for applications in this market segment. Fully automatic set-up systems like smartGPS in conjunction with user-friendly handling concepts allow for fastest change-overs for profitable production of even short-term campaigns. For gravure printing, the RS 6003 platform delivers a choice of machine configurations with highly efficient dryers and ventilation systems that minimize any trace of residual solvent. The MW mid-web press is well fitted with special promotions and short run production. The RS 5002, with its dedicated features for markets where the use of local inks is widespread is a true bestseller. For narrow- to mid-web inline UV flexo presses, the M4, M5 and M6 UV flexo presses deliver high printing quality and substrate enhancement all in one pass, along with total food safety thanks to the unique UV Track system that tests and tracks the UV inks safety across the whole surface of the substrate during printing. For film production, the BOBST K5 EXPERT can produce more rolls per day and provides significant cost saving innovations. The BOBST K5 VISION is able to handle many different film types including heat sensitive and thin gauge substrates. Processes, like the DarkNight used for reducing pinholes in the film, and the Alubond for better metal adhesion guarantee the protection of the packaged food. The extrusion coating process is also used in snack packaging such as potato chips, and the ROTOEXTRUDER 400FP or 700FP are industry benchmarks in terms of speed and productivity. Depending on the required web width, CL 850 and CL 1000 laminators enable significant reduction in coating weight and improve the optical quality of the end product.

In case dry food & snack products are packed in a tray type table top display, the printing must match the flexible packaging quality which leads often to offset printing. Then a laminated board solution is needed to combine the offset printing with the strength of corrugated board. The BOBST MASTERFLUTE TOUCH Inline laminating solution provides highly efficient production lines for litho-laminated corrugated board.

Brand owners and packaging designers are looking to create striking differentiation for their products. Hot foil stamping is indeed a great way to make a product stand out, elevating a given package to a more eye-catching level. With almost fifty years of experience in the design and manufacturing of foil stamping machines, BOBST has remained constantly at the forefront of advances in this technology. When it comes to high foiling quality and productivity, MASTERFOIL 106 PR delivers exactly this. All designed for longer impressions, this hot foil stamping machine will deliver huge savings in foil usage. Confectionery such as chocolate boxes or lower volume productions will find a perfect match with the very versatile VISIONFOIL 104 hot foil stamping press, capable of instant change from foiling to flat-bed die-cutting with stripping.

The converting of dry food snacks is very demanding - high quality is required across numerous box sizes. The BOBST EXPERTCUT 145 PER is the perfect die-cutter for medium volume production and unbeatable product quality thanks to a precise and powerful register. Even high volume productions find a solution with the most automated and productive die-cutter MASTERCUT 145 PER able to run up to 9'500 sheets/hour. With the most versatile and productive folder-gluer MASTERFORLD 110, BOBST offers the perfect configuration to deal with this challenge. The EASYFEEDER / BATCH INVERTER 4 will feed the blanks faster and easier. The in-line inspection system ACCUCHECK 2 will guarantee zero-fault packaging. The devices SPEEDWAVE 3 -for crash-locks and SPEEDHOOK -for 4 & 6-corners will save you time and deliver exceptional folding quality; while the high performance packer CARTONPACK 4 increases your productivity by automatically filling your shipping containers.

Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP) is growing at a rapid pace for dry food and snacks especially in small or low-end retail chains. BOBST has conceived a one pass stack to stack solution to produce SRP. The BOBST FFG 924 or 1228 are the most productive machines delivering up to 33.000 boxes per hour. For dry food, the BOBST FFG 618 is the machine of reference for small format SRP. For brown boxes in very high productivity, the BOBST FFG 8.20 is the industry benchmark in terms of speed and fast order change for a fully automated complete line. For brand owners requiring large Shelf Ready Packaging with high quality graphics incl. images on corrugated boards, the BOBST THQ FlexoCloud Technology is the most advanced one pass platform delivering quality, productivity at low operating costs. In addition, BOBST offers unique security printing features for anti-counterfeit and track & trace - features required by brands.

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