Bosch connects with chocolate manufacturers to deliver ideal packaging
Josua Schwab, of Bosch writes for Confectionery Production on the value of selecting of the right packaging for confectionery manufacturing operations
Chocolate is more than just a snack between meals. Chocolate is pure indulgence. The trend is for consumers to seek out high-quality chocolate products to enjoy – and occasionally even celebrate.
These premium products are characterised by their select ingredients and craftsmanship. Packaging itself also plays a major role in consumer perception, along with the chocolate inside. It reflects the customers’ product expectations, and unwrapping becomes a part of the pleasure experience.
The market for premium chocolate is one of the most dynamic segments of the confectionery industry – globally, the industry is predicted to grow by seven percent by 2022. The main driver is North America, with a 40 percent market share. However, consumers in other regions also increasingly enjoy high-quality chocolate.
The Swiss, followed by the Germans, consume the most chocolate in terms of volume per capita, but the demand for premium chocolate is growing across the board; especially in China, India and other Asian countries. According to a survey conducted by Global Data, chocolate bars accounted for the largest European market share of the bars and chocolate segment (10.6 percent) in 2016.
The reasons for this increasing demand are varied but can roughly be categorised as follows: On the one hand, consumers’ health consciousness is growing. People are consuming less and instead are placing more emphasis on quality. On the other hand, ethical consumption is on the rise, which results in a popularity boost for fair trade and sustainably produced products.
We spoke to Andreas Hasler, Head of Marketing and Sales for the Swiss chocolate manufacturer Chocolats Halba, about premium chocolate: Mr Hasler, which chocolate trends can you currently observe on the market?
We currently see a very positive development on the market for premium chocolate. As a contract manufacturer for well-known brands and private labels, we notice that more and more consumers value high-quality chocolate and consciously indulge in it. This trend has had a particularly positive effect on Swiss chocolate manufacturers, such as Chocolats Halba, since our products are known the world over for their outstanding quality.
Which product characteristics are especially high in demand?
In addition to the taste and origin of the cocoa beans, certifications for sustainable production are also becoming more and more important. This is why we converted our entire supply chain so we can label our chocolate as organic, fair trade or CO2-neutral. These labels are part of our extensive service that we offer to customers – including requests for a specific cocoa producing region, individual recipes and packaging, to marketing advice.
What role does packaging play for you?
With our premium chocolate, we want to create a pleasurable experience that appeals to all the senses. In this regard, packaging plays a central role. It should grab consumer’s attention on the supermarket shelf, evoke desire and increase anticipation when unwrapping. And for this, we need exquisite material and high-quality packaging technology, such as the die fold wrap. For many years, we have relied on Bosch Packaging Technology’s Sigpack DSN.
Packaging as an icon on the store shelf
Consumers are spoiled for choice – store shelves have such a large selection on offer. The first rule of manufacturing is therefore to make a positive impression. Not at all costs, obviously: It is key to convey the product history at first glance. In general, colors as well as the look and feel of the packaging material convey emotions. High-quality packaging with banderoles or three-dimensional paint and embossing effects as well as a superior paper grade reflect the high quality of the actual product. Unwrapping is already part of the indulgent experience. The consumer has to feel this from the start. The packaging needs to be easy to open, resealable, airtight and securely packaged, and should feature sturdy, stable cardboard and die fold-wrap packaging of the highest quality.
Swiss products as the embodiment of chocolate pleasure
The chocolate producer Chocolats Halba from Pratteln in Switzerland is a long-time customer of Bosch Packaging Technology. As a contract manufacturer, Chocolats Halba supplies various well-known companies and operates on the market with its own brand Swiss Confisa. More than 17,000 tons of quality Swiss chocolate leave its production facility every year. Chocolats Halba places a particular emphasis on the sustainability and transparency of their entire value chain. Packaging also plays a major role: In order for chocolate manufactures like Chocolats Halba to package their customers’ various formats, they rely on high-performance packaging machines.
Maximum flexibility for up to 165 packages per minute
Chocolats Halba ordered three new Sigpack DSN die fold-wrap machines from Bosch to keep up with the growing demand. This machine combines flexibility and speed. The primary packaging solutions ensure optimal product protection, and offer optional full wrapping or banderole applications from cardboard or paper.
Various opening aids and reclosable systems are also available as optional features. Overall, the machine has an output of up to 165 packages per minute.
The Sigpack DSN’s compact and robust design upholds a reliable multi-shift operation, whilst at the same time being easy to operate and access – offering short changeover times. Consequently, Chocolats Halba can package approximately 20 different types of chocolate bars for various brands in a flexible and efficient manner.