Eagle Flexible Packaging :: Challenges and Opportunities in Candy Manufacturing and Packaging

Challenges and Opportunities in Candy Manufacturing and Packaging

Candy brings a smile to the face, and satisfaction to the sweet tooth—and so much more to the American economy. Even with increased interest in healthy eating and living, and consumers cutting back on sugar, candy and confections are a special treat that add a touch of celebration to parties, holidays, get-togethers, and sometimes just making it through the day! But the candy industry also adds up to nearly half a million jobs, directly and indirectly, across production, transportation, and retail sales. A number of candy trends add new challenges and opportunities for the candy and confection industry.

Candy and the Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle prioritizes fresh, all-natural and un-refined ingredients, the occasional confection can still be enjoyed and savored. And candy manufacturers are even offering choices that can be indulged in with less of that “guilty” feeling. By using less-refined natural sweeteners, dark chocolates, heart-healthy nuts and seeds, real fruits, and more, that splurge of sweetness can even give back toward a healthy diet. Confectioners can get on board with consumer interest by embracing these opportunities:

  • Help educate about incorporating occasional sweet treats, in moderation, as part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Adapt products (or offer alternative product lines) that feature natural, less-refined sweeteners as well as beneficial ingredients like nuts, seeds, grains, and fruits for a more well-rounded snack.
  • Source non-GMO, all-natural, pesticide/hormone-free, etc., ingredients as much as possible (at least for some product lines).
  • Equip consumers to eat treats in moderation by clearly indicating portion sizes and nutrition facts. Support responsible consumption with portioned packets.

Standing Out on Crowded Retail Candy Shelves

Candy may be a common impulse buy, but with a selection so diverse, packaging is critical for standing out—whether a planned or in-the-moment purchase. Packaging helps differentiate confections not only by visual appeal, but the functions that it serves and the values it represents.

  • Catching the eye: brilliant colors, unique form-factor, and top quality printing help sell a candy product in a crowded space. Flexible packaging checks all the boxes!
  • Informing the consumer: a shiny logo, funny mascot, and catchy name aren’t enough to win over discerning customers. Make the most of your packaging real estate to talk about ingredients, sourcing, nutrition, and quality. Remember to use all applicable emblems, such as being non-GMO certified, vegan, kosher, etc.
  • Protecting precious cargo: if packaging doesn’t safely get the product to market and on to the customer’s pantry, it doesn’t matter how unique and interesting the design is. Make sure that your packaging selection doesn’t make one statement on the shelf, but a completely opposite statement by its failure to ultimately get the job done.
  • Making a difference: more than ever before, consumers demand responsibility from the companies they buy from. When candy manufacturers choose responsible and sustainable packaging, it delights consumers—and you should definitely highlight it on your packaging and in your marketing.

Resealable Packaging

Bulk candy is every kid’s dream, but oversized packaging can result in major stomachaches! But as consumers focus more on healthy eating habits, they also are more intentional about portion control. Being able to put a package down after enjoying a nice snack is made even better when that package is resealable. A bag with a zippered closure keeps confections fresher with less exposure to air so that the next serving is as enjoyable as the last. And it’s a helpful feature for larger shareable packages so that the whole family can have a taste.

The candy industry is big business, but poised to continue to innovate as consumers support change with their tastebuds and dollars. Looking to innovate with your packaging? Give us a call or reach out to get started.