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Confectionery ‘spoiled’ by bland pack styles

By Oliver Nieburg+, 15-Feb-2013

Related topics: Packaging & Packing Materials, Containers, Processing & Packaging, Chocolate, Candy

Confectioners’ innovative products are being ruined by unimaginative pack styles, according to a packaging expert at Datamonitor.

Andrew Streeter, packaging innovation director at Datamonitor, recently delivered a webinar where he discussed packaging trends in confectionery observed at the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM) in Cologne last month.

Innovative confectionery ruined by packaging

“Remarkable things are being done with sugar and chocolate confectionery…but the packaging itself needs to go further…There’s all these wonderful things in sugar confectionery and chocolate confectionery and you then spoil it by putting it in bags or boxes. It doesn’t really do much for the product,” he said.

‘Crazy’ sugar confectionery

“Sugar confectionery is very versatile. It’s very bold, bright and shapely…You can do crazy things with it,” he said.

At ISM, Datamonitor noticed paint cans containing lollipops and sugar confectionery in a five liter beer keg.

“Simply that process of putting confectionery in a beer keg suddenly moves the value proposition on,” said Streeter.

“A beer keg is a bit extreme – its five liters, it’s quite heavy – but it wasn’t the only one,” he said.

The brand Sour Flush packages sherbet in a toilet-shaped pack with a lollipop attached as the flush, which  differs from the conventional pouch format for sherbet dip, said Streeter.

Sour Flush toilet candy

“Visual branding is often character branding. You take sugar confectionery and you invent a character and you put it in a bag or or pouch….But there is a cost and at the end of the day it is still a pouch,” said Streeter.

Value through variety

He said that the Jelly Bean Factory used a variety of pack formats despite only having one product type, including jelly beans in a coffee cup that could be stored in a car cup holder or be taken to work.

“This company has made its business not just making jelly beans but moving all its packaging towards consumer usage. And it’s the packaging that has leveraged the market for them. It adds value,” said Streeter.

Clear packs for chocolate

Streeter said there were lots of innovative chocolate products at ISM, but they mostly just came in a box. “The packaging is very similar to everybody else’s,” he said.

“You have quite a lot of examples coming through now where you are seeing the chocolate product.”

He noted Blaxarts’s chocolate products wrapped in a see-through polypropylene carton, which offered something different.  “You can see the product inside…you can see the natural look to it,” he said.

Some products at ISM were using a cutaway part in the packaging to displays portions of the chocolate with a folded inner wrap clear film, said Streeter.

Heilemann's Alpenschokolade displaying a portion of the chocolate

Shapes and packaging as household fixtures

He added that presenting confectionery in new shapes such as pentagons or tooth-shapes for a tooth friendly gum carried appeal to consumers as did giving space on the pack to add a written personal message.

Streeter highlighted a product at ISM that used a steel can with houses printed on and clear windows cut out.  He said that after the confectionery had been eaten, the consumer could keep the can and use it as a lantern.

“That’s a very attractive way to keep the packaging and of course keep your branding in a very positive way as the consumer re-uses the packaging,” said Streeter.