The growing use of stand-up pouches, demand for portion control and the growing popularity of shareable packages drive growth in the candy and confections category.
In a 2013 research study conducted by PMMI, “stand-up pouches, with or without zippers, were mentioned as one of the fastest growing types of packaging.” (The research report, “Confectionery Trends—A Market Assessment,” is available at no cost to PMMI members and may be purchased by non-members for $3,500 at www.pmmi.org.)
“There is a lot of excitement in [the confectionery] category,” says Lisa Baer, senior director of market innovation, Packaging Technology Integrated Solutions, a division of HAVI Global Solutions.
Recalling the candy packs she saw at a recent packaging tradeshow in Germany, Baer says: “There are so many new packaging formats, and the biggest one I found is the stand-up flexible pouch with a reseal feature. It was a huge trend on retail candy shelves everywhere I went…from convenience stores to drug stores to warehouse stores. These stand-up pouches were everywhere.”
In addition to providing a high-impact billboard on-shelf, resealable pouches make it easier for consumers to share and store multi-serving confectionery products. The format is especially well suited to bite-size candies, which are a rapidly proliferating segment of the category.
“Consumers really love [stand-up pouches] for their ease of use. For the loose and unwrapped candies [they’re] a perfect solution for extended consumption at home use,” Baer says, noting that resealability eliminates the need to transfer the candy to another container. Plus, “freshness and portion control is directly tied to the reseal feature. It offers a lot of value.”
In addition, “retailers are giving more space to stand-up bags” in the candy aisle,says Matt Pye, vp of corporate affairs at Just Born Quality Confections. Just Born launched Peeps Minis—a bite-size version of classic Peeps chicks—earlier this year in a resealable stand-up pouch made from a metallized laminate.
Just Born chose a stand-up pouch for the product to help position it as an everyday product rather than something special for Easter, Halloween and other candy-centric holidays. The traditional Easter Peeps are packaged in a paperboard tray overwrapped with transparent film.
Peeps Minis “are a year-round product. They are in the regular candy aisle…with all the smaller, on-trend, bite-size products” in stand-up pouches, Pye says. “Stand-up bags and the bite-size, mini-size products are the fastest growing segment in the candy industry.”
Portion control, ease of sharing and on-the-go snacking are all driving the popularity of resealable, multi-serving pouches of candy.
Resealable packaging enables consumers to “count out or control how much they’re having,” says Allison Kleinfelter, senior manager of strategic communications at The Hershey Co.“You can have a few [pieces of candy,] enjoy them and reseal.”
For Hershey, which pioneered the just-a-taste concept more than a century ago with Hershey’s Kisses, resealable pouches are a contemporary way to “deliver on that portion-control desire,”Kleinfelter says.
The company offers many of its “Minis” and “Pieces” products in resealable stand-up pouches; one that it recently launched is York Minis, in an 8-oz resealable pouch. A standard part of the graphic design on Hershey’s resealable stand-up pouches is the tagline “Pour ’em. Pop ’em. Seal ’em.” on the front panel, adjacent to the resealable zipper.
Stand-up pouches also offer shareability, which, like smaller portion sizes and portability, “is huge [and] on-trend with consumers now,” says Pye.
To encourage sharing, Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. recently introduced individually wrapped Ghirardelli Minis in a stand-up pouch bearing the tagline “Share a square” in the upper front corner. Unlike many other stand-up pouches in the candy aisle, the Ghirardelli Squares pouch is not resealable.
Hershey has observed the candy-sharing trend, including on-the-go sharing, occurring with resealable packs of all sizes and among consumers of all ages. The smaller packs might be shared by only two consumers, but “some of larger bags allow [them to] take it to a party, share at a movie,” says Kleinfelter.
“Consumers are liking the notion of sharing an experience around food and beverages,” she adds. “Because food, in the culture, is such a shared experience, the fact that manufacturers are offering these formats now is really resonating across the board…with everyone.”
Kate Bertrand Connolly is a seasoned freelance writer based in the San Francisco area covering the packaging, food and technology markets. You can contact her at [email protected].