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The Knack of Snack: Perfected by Nichrome
The ball of innovation keeps rolling in the snack industry. Whether it is a new flavor or a
product variant, a healthy option or a new entrant from overseas, manufacturers
continuously introduce novel offerings to make the most of the exciting prospects in India.
Snacks used to be an occasional indulgence. Or a munch between meals, primarily at tea
time. But today, snacking is synonymous with a ‘fourth meal’. The industry is booming
worldwide, with India leading the way. In the savoury snacks market for instance, the Indian
market has been forecasted to have the highest growth among all the other countries in the
world – 16.6 percent between the years 2015
Snack is described as a small quantity of food
eaten between meals or in place of a meal.
Snack food generally comprises bakery
products, ready-to-eat mixes, chips, namkeen
and other light processed foods. . Though very
large and diverse, the snacks industry is
dominated by the unorganized sector. Potato
chips are the bestselling snack in India. Yet
according to an Apeda survey, almost 1,000
snack items and300 types of savouries are
sold across India. The variety is almost mindboggling with specialties from all regions,
which have gained national acceptance.
The industry has been growing around 10%
for the last three years, while the branded
segment is growing around 25% per annum to
stand at Rs 5,000-Rs 5,500 crore, due to
various reasons like Multiplex culture,
snacking at home while watching TV, pubs and bars (where they are served free). AC
Nielsen's retail audit shows that the large sales volumes are due to a marked preference for
ethnic foods, regional bias towards indigenous snacks and good value-for-money
perception. Of course the branded segment is much smaller at Rs 2,200 crore, which is what
makes it so attractive to food companies that are looking at bigger shares. In the branded
snacks market, Frito Lay commands a share of 45%, followed by Haldiram’s at 27% and ITC
Hectic lifestyles, urbanization, increase in purchasing power, growth in female work
population, expansion of nuclear families and growing concerns of hygiene have led to the
explosive growth of the packaged snacks market. Also, given the increasing concerns
surrounding ‘unhealthy’ snacking, players have positioned brands and products around
‘health’, e.g. baked, roasted, multigrain, low fat, organic, fibre-rich, vitamin fortified, etc. to
reach out to the health-conscious segments.
Today, well-packaged snacks are commonly associated with greater credibility, longer shelf
life and better product quality. Moreover, with globalization and the rapid growth of the
packaged snack market in India, more snack companies are starting to sell their products
across India, and abroad.
Easy on-the-go packs of single-serve convenience are also a growing trend in India. The
demand for small snack packs has increased considerably over the past few years, especially
in the rural regions where price is a primary factor in snack purchase. In cities too, a recent
survey has found an increased preference for on-the-go snacking.
Nichrome’s Vertical Form Fill Seal (VFFS) snack & namkeen packaging machines help
manufacturers address the challenges of snack packaging. Nichrome is a leading supplier of
packaging technology for the Indian snack industry, with a client list that includes Nestle,
Haldirams, Chitale Bandhu and Bambino.
The inherent fragility and odd shapes of snack foods have to be taken into account while
ensuring minimised costs and a highly efficient packaging process. Nichrome’s VFFS
machines are also ideal for potato chips packing, dry fruit pouch packaging, biscuit
packaging and for other products like Wrapped Candies, Macaroni, Biscuits, Pasta, Seeds,
Breakfast Cereals, etc.
Nichrome’s Snackpack and Namkeenpack automatic snack packaging machines deliver
speeds of up to 150 packs per minute. The gas-filled pouches provide protection for brittle
snack products such as potato chips, while the vertical concept of the packaging solution
helps to speed up the process. They allow easy format changes to produce CSPP and
gusseted pouches of different sizes besides perforated chains of pouches. Namkeenpack
also offers a variety of seal patterns such as Broad Seal with D Cut, Euro Slot, V-notch and V
Serrated Edge. This gives snack manufacturers production flexibility and the convenience of
packaging snacks in various styles and sizes according to marketing strategies, regional
preferences, serving sizes and dietary needs − with just one machine.
Apart from offering versatility and efficiency, Nichrome’s Snackpack and Namkeenpack
machines have also been designed to ease operational and maintenance challenges.
Operations are simplified and to facilitate maintenance, they are also equipped with servotechnology that helps to reduce and eliminate technical errors.