Portion packages for cookies and crackers are taking the market by storm. Consumers favor smaller convenience packs when snacking on-the-go or saving favorite treats for later. However, many manufacturers find it difficult to adjust their production lines. Some assume the cost of automation for smaller packs will be more costly due to higher production speeds.
It is time to reconsider. Here are some tips on how to employ “biscuit on pile” packaging for stacked cookies and crackers:
Adapt production easily in line with market success – with scalable systems
Consider scalable systems starting with hand-fed wrappers and manual cartoning or case packing. All manual packaging steps can be automated at a later stage.
Flexibility thanks to fast and reproducible changeovers
Promotions, seasonal fluctuations and ever-changing consumer preferences, coupled with intense competition on supermarket shelves, all require fast changes in pack styles, sizes or number of biscuits in the pack.
Protection for brittle cookies and crackers
Consider flat handling for sandwich cookies or biscuits with toppings or irregular shapes. Any other type of biscuit can be processed on edge with vibratory distribution. One of the advantages of vibratory distribution is a three to five minutes buffer functionality to compensate for variances in product supply. Watch out for extraction pushers with high acceleration or packaging steps, requiring product to fall or fly without any support, increasing the risk of product damage. Gentle product extraction should use controlled acceleration and continuous product flow to protect biscuits, as well as enable higher production speeds.
Product differentiation for success at the point of sale
Having the right partner for packaging solutions on your side will enable you to serve retailers with different pack styles. These range from flow wraps all the way to shelf-ready wrap-around cases with peel-away sections offering more advertising space.
Think about machine designs that are easy to access, with forming sets that are simple to thread, tool-less changeovers and which eliminate points for potential operator error.