Snacking may very well be the new American pastime. According to the recent report from Mintel, Snacking Motivations and Attitudes US 2015, nearly all Americans (94 percent) snack at least once a day. What is more, half (50 percent) of adults snack two to three times per day with 70 percent agreeing that anything can be considered a snack these days. Mintel’s research is pointing to the pervasive nature of snacking, as only a year ago 64 percent of consumers said they often snack between meals, according to Mintel’s The Snacking Occasion US 2014 report.

Americans also claim a preference for healthier snacking, with 33 percent saying they are snacking on healthier foods this year compared to last year, specifically those with simple ingredients and low calorie counts. However, they most often snack to satisfy a craving (62 percent), highlighting the important role taste and flavor play on snacking behavior. In fact, research from Mintel’s Salty Snacks US 2015 report indicates that 63 percent of US consumers value the taste of salty snacks more than their nutrition.

To help instore delis and bakeries address this far-reaching trend, packaging companies introduced numerous innovations at the recent Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar and Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tray-Pak featured its new Fresh-Pak line for consumers on the go.  The Fresh-Pak line is versatile with many options for snacks, sandwiches and hot-to-go meals.  One highlight is our 9 x 9 single and three cavity containers using Milliken’s UltraClear Polypropylene and tinted colors. Ideal for take-out and heat-at-home applications, this package offers functionality that consumers are looking for – glass-like clarity while being a 100% microwaveable package.

Clear Lam introduced the PrimaPak packaging line this year. PrimaPak is an ideal replacement for heavy preformed cans, bottles and trays. From fresh salads to shelf stable cereal, this line is well suited for a variety of deli products. Produced from a single roll of film on a Vertical FFS machine, this packaging line is flexible, stackable and enclosable.  It also uses up to 70 percent less plastic than PET jars, which helps improve sustainability measures and achieve measurable cost savings for retailers.

Anchor Packaging is incorporating ergonomic design and environmentally friendly materials into its latest line of packaging products. The “WAVE” series includes upscale elements like clean lines, wide viewing panels, and polypropylene dome lid that uses anti-fog technology to help consumers get a clear view of the products offerings.  This modern container also features a ready to serve component, perfect for easy clean up after a meal. All packages in this line are made with a natural mineral additive that reduces the use of petroleum by 40 percent. These containers are also dishwasher safe, making them reusable for consumers. 

Produced from high quality sustainable materials, Placon’s Envision is designed to give retailers a packing option that looks high-end without the price tag. Created to increase impulse purchases, the line is easy to stack and available in both clear and black in shallow and deep configurations that will hold a variety of foods.  Envisions also keeps food fresh longer with options for a deep tray base, perfect for foods with liquids, or a smooth shallow base, great for wraps and baked goods.

Weber Packaging Solutions displayed the Alpha Compact top and bottom labeling system. The system is great for labelling clamshells, trays, and chipboard cartons. It is ideal for exhibiting and applying labels to packages that need to draw attention to branding and nutritional information. The system uses Weber’s cost-efficient Alpha Compact labeling systems combined with a split conveyor to deliver a highly accurate method of applying labels to various packages. 

Honing in on consumer safety needs, Sealed Air’s Food Care Division revealed a new resalable product at IDDBA. The Cryovac Multi-Seal Flex Lok package features an adhesive that is easy to open, but can be resealed at any time. According to John Kelly, dairy marketing director of Sealed Air’s Food Care Division, “consumers are looking at both the quality of the product and the convenience of how it’s packaged when making their purchasing decisions”.  To help retailers increase appeal to customers, the Cryovac Multi-Seal Flex Lok package offers an easy open tab and that can be split safely without the use of knifes or scissors.