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Five-year outlook on the snack food industry

A new study, “Snack Foods – Packaging and Processing Market Assessment and Trends 2018” by PMMI Business Intelligence, reveal CPG innovation goals and purchasing insights for the next 2-5 years.

Snack Food Market Overview
Snack Food Market Overview

Perspective on innovation:

  • Some CPGs respondents want to see more radical innovation in packaging equipment, feeling that it has been too incremental in recent years.
  • There is common feedback that significant innovation will be required to optimize packaging usage.
    • One CPG long-term goal (even short-term for some), is to tighten primary and secondary packaging around contents to save on materials. Industry experts believe that the primary and secondary packaging processes could somehow be integrated to achieve this goal.
  • Respondents see robotics innovation as important for long-term sales (further out than the next 2-3 years).
    • CPGs hope to see more R&D investment and a more competitive supplier environment (e.g. robotic arms on VFFS machines and robotic pick-and-place fillers).


Investment in Machinery:

There is a focus on investments in the following types of equipment in the next 2-3 years, based on unmet needs mentioned by CPG and OEM interviewees, and direct CPG comments relating to investment criteria and goals:


Top 3

  • More flexible (and faster) secondary packaging equipment: e.g. case packers, case erectors, case sealing equipment, accumulators.


  • Vertical FFS machinery: cheaper and higher quality, and able to run a variety of packages including both zippered and unzippered stand-up pouches efficiently.


  • Metal detection equipment: likely to include magnetic separation equipment and to a lesser extent, other foreign object detection equipment like X-ray machines. Potential plans include multiple detectors along processing and primary packaging lines.



  • More flexible (and faster) pouch-filling machinery (FFS and others) to deal with the growing demand for single-serve snacks.
  • Equipment associated with fast-growing segments like Nuts, Bars and Combo snacks (meat/cheese/ fresh snacks) such as pouch fillers for nuts, flow wrappers for bars, and tray fillers for combination snacks.
  • CPGs may be purchasing more “better-for-you” snack food lines, i.e. gluten/allergen-free which may require separate, dedicated lines.
  • Contract manufacturers may be purchasing more equipment than brand owners in the next few years, so focusing on their goals is important.


Source: PMMI Business Intelligence “Snack Foods – Packaging and Processing Market Assessment and Trends 2018”


See the OpX solution page Clarifying Key Components of Capital Project Excellence for help with RFP Guidelines and free downloads such as the  RFP Template for CPG Industry, or another OpX solution: Total Cost of Ownership.


For more details about the Snack Foods market as it pertains to the packaging and processing industry, download the FREE Executive Summary, or the full report here.

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