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Event gives a taste of candy packaging trends

Event gives a taste of candy packaging trends
Orbit down-sized, economy-priced gum pack


Orbit down-sized, economy-priced gum packThe annual Sweets and Snacks Expo (happening at Chicago's McCormick place this week) is a platform for makers of a wide array of edibles to debut new products. Glimpsing the hundreds of new products offered by the nearly 600 exhibitors reveals a number of trends in the packaging arena.

Economy packaging: Looking to capture fiscally conscious consumers, a number of candy and gum makers are coming out with packs that are compact and clearly labeled with a low price. Orbit, a Wrigley brand, previewed its soon-to-roll-out Micro Packs, which contain 6 pieces (down from the 14-piece regular pack) and bear "MSRP 69¢" on the front. Kraft Foods' Trident gum also is releasing 5-piece economy packs, with a 50-cent price on the label.

Two-in-one packaging: A number of companies showed candy and snack products that combine multiple products or components in a single pack. Pemmican, a popular jerky brand owned by Marfoods USA, debuted its Pemmican Plus packs, which feature the company's dried meat snack in one side of a tray, and another item (sweet-and-salty trail mix, wasabi peas or other edibles) in the other. Jack Links, a jerky brand from Link Snacks, also offers a number of two-part packs with meat on one side, and a cheese or barbecue dipping sauce in the other.

Spangler downsized candy cane packagingDownsizing: The trend of offering smaller packages continues, enabling candy and snack manufacturers to get more product on a pallet and conserve materials costs. Among the notable packages: Spangler Inc. has shrunk the 12-unit boxes housing its best-selling candy canes into a version that's approximately half the size of the previous version.

Gum innovation: In addition to releasing slimmed down and low-price packages, gum companies continue to offer gum packages with design features intended to help their products stand out and increase shelf appeal. One example: ID from Stride, an upcoming product from Kraft Foods, features a printed overwrap that reveals artwork submitted by teen consumers; a magnet keeps the two-sided wallet-style pack closed and helps increase the package's premium feel.

Tic Tac Big Pack from Ferrero USABig pack: Several companies at the show displayed packages that put more of their product in a single container; these include "car cups" for gum and candy consumers on the go. Ferrero USA previewed a "Big Pack" for its popular Tic Tac breath mints. The new package is significantly larger than the rectangular shaker pack currently found in checkout-counter candy racks, and it introduces an eye-catching shape (meant to evoke the ovoid shape of the mints themselve) that stands upright.

Combos retail display packagingRetail displays: Companies exhibiting at the Sweets and Snacks Expo displayed new retail display solutions in two showcases: the Retail Solution Center, and the Magic of Merchandising display gallery. In these areas, and throughout the show floor, manufacturers and a number of display producers showed off innovative and attractive displays. These demonstrate a trend toward combining the ability to attract customers with bright, high-quality printing; giving retail staff an easy set-up job; maximizing footprint; and recyclability of disposable content.

For more information about the products and packages on display, visit www.sweetsandsnacks.com.

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