The growing popularity of snacking has translated to significant opportunities for baking and snack manufacturers in recent years. Considering the increasingly busy and on-the-go lifestyles of American consumers, snack time has become a day-to-day norm. In fact, the line between snacks and meals is growing thinner with time as trail mixes, granola bars, and fruit and vegetable snacks increasingly replace breakfast, lunch and dinner.

According to the latest Global Packaging Trends Report from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, greater prioritization of health and wellness and growing concerns about environmental impact are key trends driving development and innovation in primary packaging. As opportunities in the snack and baking category continue to grow, it is important that baking and snack manufacturers set themselves apart by supporting consumers’ desire to live healthier and more sustainable lifestyles with packaging that enhances convenience.

Snacking with a conscience

Gone are the days where consumers turned to snacks without carefully considering calories, portion size and ingredients. Demand for products that support their efforts to live a healthy lifestyle has grown and packaging now serves as an important platform for brands to broadcast their commitment to health and wellness.

According to PMMI’s Global Packaging Trends Report, products effectively positioned towards health-conscious consumers in North America have seen a large increase in sales volume. In January 2015, Packaged Facts also released a report on Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S. and revealed that sales of gluten-free products reached $973 million in 2014. By 2019, the report cites a 140% increase to $2.34 billion.[1] Brands that emphasize benefits such as “gluten free” and “all natural” on their packaging and labels inform shoppers of the attributes they may be looking for in products.

Sustainability speaks volumes

Companies that invest in sustainability efforts and effectively communicate these values also resonate with the modern consumer. According to a global survey conducted by Nielsen this year, more than 50% of global consumers consider sustainability factors when purchasing a product. Baking and snack manufacturers that innovate in this direction have the opportunity to position their brands as leaders. Leveraging the demand for more sustainable packaging can significantly help them drive sales and consumer loyalty.

Innovation at PACK EXPO

Brands earn loyalty by providing goods that align with the needs and preferences of the consumer. In turn, consumers feel good when they associate with products and brands that support causes that are important to them. As a result, their loyalty to the brands that share their values grows.

Baking and snack manufacturers can visit PACK EXPO International 2016, taking place from Nov. 6-9 in Chicago, for packaging and equipment innovations that will help them elevate their brands. The show will feature more than 2,300 exhibitors throughout 1.2 million sq ft of exhibit space and attract 50,000 attendees from all over the world. The Innovation Stage will provide education as exhibitors present 30-minute seminars on breakthrough ideas and technologies throughout the day. Furthermore, attendees can learn how to maximize profits and sustainability in destinations such as the Reusables Learning Center where case studies and best practices for integrating reusables into the supply chain are presented.

To register for PACK EXPO International, visit