Packed To Perfection
The pandemic has made the people more aware of consuming healthy food products, which are untouched by hand. Health is high up on the priority list and there is thus a leaning towards baked food, which is considered to be more nutrient. The bakery industry is thus seeing an increasing demand for its products. However, since the consumers are also insisting on products untouched by hand, packaging is assuming an increasing role in bakery products. Bread, biscuits and other products which are mechanically packaged are being preferred. There is thus an increasing demand for packaging material in the industry and the demand for this is expected to continue.
Ashok Malkani examines the market for packaging bakery products and also other types of material that are needed by the industry.
The Corona virus pandemic has led to a rise in demand for healthy food. According to a research study by Mintel, three out of four Indians have given a higher priority to healthy eating as compared to pre-pandemic days. This has led to a rise in demand for healthy and functional bakery products.
Bakery products, due to their high nutrient value and affordability, are becoming the preferred food items. The consumers are also demanding newer options from the industry, forcing the bakers to fortify bakery products to satiate the burgeoning appetite of the health conscious consumers. Several healthy wheat-based products have thus been launched by the Indian bakery products’ manufacturers.
But the industry is seeing a change. Since there is a growing awareness of healthy and clean products, people prefer packaged bakery products. Today, even the loose bread loaves (popularly called pav, in Maharashtra) are preferred in the packaged format. This is mainly due to the cleanliness concept in people’s minds, which want products that are untouched by hand.
The bakery packaging market is thus on a growth path too. There is an upward trajectory in healthy packaging of bakery products like bread, cakes, pastries, biscuits, breakfast cereals, etc. The bakery packaging market is expected to witness a positive impact during the forecast period owing to the widespread growth of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The allure of natural solid and naturally baked items among the consumers is sure to have a positive effect on bakery packaging market. Packaging, it may be mentioned, does not only protect the contents but also allows for ease of transportation. It provides information about the product and adds convenience in stocking, marketing and communicating the value of the product.
The major packaging material consumption in bakeries is for breads and biscuits. Since paper cartons and tins have lost out to flexible packaging materials, the focus for a new entrepreneur should be on flexible packaging.
Flexible packaging materials are used as wrappers, pre-formed pouches or form-fill pouches. The oldest flexible film to be used was cellophane because of its excellent gas barrier properties and heat sealability. MST, MSAT, Coated Cellophane (MXXT) offer excellent moisture barrier, heat sealability and gloss. Cellophane became less popular when it became too expensive and with the introduction of new materials with better properties. Breads are packaged mostly in low density polyethylene plastic (LDPE) bags.
The demand for Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) in India is expected to achieve a healthy growth rate till 2030. About 30% of the LDPE produced in the country goes towards making film for packaging. The demand for packaging films has reported a robust rise mainly due to the increasing demand for wrapping bakery products and dairy products. The rising demand of LDPE in packaging industry is expected to boost the growth of LDPE market. LDPE is being increasingly used for food packaging and non-food items packaging.
For snack producers and bakeries, the rise in online grocery shopping poses new challenges, such as product protection, containment and sustainability. Ensuring the product is intact at the moment of arrival at destination is as important as the quality of the product itself. Packaging plays an essential role in ensuring this.
Packaging may be defined, in brief, as a socio-scientific discipline to ensure the delivery of goods to the ultimate consumer in the best condition. The Packaging Institute has defined packaging as “enclosure of products, items or packages in a wrapped pouch, bag, box, cup, tray, can, tube, bottle or other container form to perform one or more of the following functions: containment, protection, preservation, communication, utility and performance.”
Today most of the biscuits and breads are packed in flexible laminates of composite structures, where every component fulfills a specific function. These laminates have desirable properties such as moisture barrier, gas barrier heat sealability, printability characteristics, high production and overall economy.
The packaging material used for cakes pastries and doughnut, which have high moisture content, making them prone for mould growth, is normally Polypropylene (PP), Cast Polypropylene (CPP), Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) etc.
The pandemic, which has engulfed the globe and affected almost all the industries adversely, has had little effect on the bakery industry as baked goods are considered to be healthy and people have become more conscious about their wellbeing. The bakery industry is thus, according to research analysts, expected to grow at a rapid pace in the future.
However, it has to be realized that most baked goods, at ambient temperatures, have only a few days life. The two most important factors that are responsible for the short shelf life – mostly of cakes – are water activity and storage temperature. The lower is the water activity and temperature the longer is the shelf life.
This provides an opportunity for enterprising entrepreneurs to enter the bakery packaging and accessory supply industry.
Besides the polylaminated packaging, which is mostly used for bread, biscuit, cookies, etc., there is also a huge demand for cake boxes, which are normally made from card paper.
Cake boxes, providing protection for the cakes, are used for transporting the product from the bakery to the customer. They are flexible, durable and lightweight form of packaging. Today, there is an increasing demand for cake boxes, since they are easily recyclable. With increasing online orders the retailers are making increased use of cake boxes to keep the product protected from mechanical stress. This, in turn, has affected the cake box market positively.
To expand the consumer base, the cake box manufacturers have come up with custom cake box packaging. According to Future Market Insight report, the growth of cake boxes is expected to witness substantial growth during its forecast period, 2019-2029, owing to the growing demand for online shopping.
Besides packaging there are several other necessities of the bakery industry. Investors can also exploit these needs of the bakery industry. Some of the paper based materials required by the bakers are:
Baking Trays: These paper based trays protect and cook bakery products like breads and cakes. These trays are environmentally friendly alternative to plastic or foil trays. Suitable for direct food contact, the trays are heat resistant. Made from corrugated, solid board or folding carton, they are suitable for both automated and manual packaging lines.
Bake Oven Paper: Used as a tray liner for flat baking operations, this paper, having high resistance to heat, can withstand multiple baking. Bake oven paper is used as a tray liner for flat baking application. This paper withstands multiple baking. It has high resistance to heat. It is suitable for conventional baking application and micro waves. This paper, which eliminates the greasing of tin and trays, can be used as a tray liner for cakes and confectioneries, Pizza’s etc.
Greaseproof Paper: It prevents penetration of oil & fats thus retaining the original flavour and taste of the product intact. This paper is suitable to withstand wide range of environments, from hot oven to deep freezer & humidity.
Greaseproof Slip Easy Paper: It is specifically designed for conversion to moulded cups. This paper’s thickness varies from 30-70 GSM. It is used for baking of Cup cakes and Muffins etc. Packing of Sweets, mithai etc.
TDL (Titanium Dioxide Loaded) Poster Paper: Manufactured from premium quality pulp, it has pacifying agents like Titanium di-oxide added to it. The paper has excellent brightness and uniform smoothness.