With the uncertainty of life in 2020, consumers are grasping at anything that will provide them some peace of mind. This is especially true of the food they purchase to feed their families. People expect it to be safe.

“I think consumers want any extra measures of assurance that they can get that the products they are buying for themselves or their families have not had any evidence of tampering,” said Ron Cardey, senior vice president, customer engagement, Kwik Lok.

News stories about people opening ice cream pints, licking the product and returning it to shelves or even taking slices of bread from loaves understandably have shoppers skittish about food safety.

“Several years ago, a customer had this issue with shelf product being taken either by consumers or the supermarket taking a slice or two to create another loaf to sell,” said Mitch Lindsey, senior sales account manager, Burford Corp., a Middleby Bakery company. “For the consumer, it wouldn’t be obvious at all. It’s in a poly bag, and the rest of the product could actually be tampered with and the consumer wouldn’t know.”

On top of that, enter coronavirus (COVID-19) and the anxieties it brings even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t found any substantial evidence the virus is easily transmissible through food.

Consumers are still more interested than ever in individually packaged food and knowing that it hasn’t been unnecessarily touched by strangers.

“Product tampering is the deliberate contamination of goods after they have been manufactured,” said Jim Immel, EPI regional sales manager, ProMach. “This is a concern for a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, health/beauty, food and beverage, and more. When purchasing products, consumers want the assurance that they are investing in something that is safe for them and their families.”

This article is an excerpt from the August 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on bagging and closing, click here.