There’s sustenance – and then there is sustainability. Increasingly, both are part of product development for bakery and snack foods.

One might say that sustainability is part and parcel – literally – for a variety of food packages today. Green packaging was included as a list of key trends for 2016 from market research firm Mintel, which noted that sustainability was evolving into “eco-responsible packaging that empowers social consciousness.”

To that end, many packaging suppliers and baking and snack manufacturers are introducing more sustainable packages, and, at the same time, promoting that aspect of the product both on package and in supporting merchandising and promotional efforts.

Bio-plastics are one emerging area. According to a new report from Persistence Market Research, the market for bioplastic packaging is predicted to grow 36.8% from 2014 to 2020 or from nearly $3.2 billion to $28.4 billion. One factor driving that growth is the utilization of nanotechnology-based bio-plastics that help improve performance.

There are several marketplace examples of more sustainable packaging. Fabri-Kal, Kalamazoo, MI, recently launched a new line of 32-oz, six-inch single cell boxes made from PET with 50% post-consumer recycled bottles. Sabert, Sayreville, NJ, has introduced a new Bakery Collection that is designed for appealing display of premium products. In addition to allowing for enhanced visuals, the containers are made from fully recyclable PET and are more durable than polystyrene.

Baking and snack makers are going greener with some package redesigns and new product introductions. Bare Snacks, San Francisco, recently revamped its packaging with both bolder, simpler graphics and a new stand-up pouch format with a resealable zipper. In keeping with its organic profile, Eureka! Organic Bread under the Bimbo Bakeries umbrella is sold in a polyethylene bag made from a 36% bio-based material from sugarcane.