Packaging is an accepted part of our day-to-day lives. In fact, packaging plays a vital role in the overall marketing process. This is also true of the sweets and chocolate industries where manufactures and suppliers of wholesale sweets are only too aware of the fact that we shop with our eyes. |
But have our favourite sweets always been sold in conveniently sized and colourful packages? Where did the idea of placing our fruit gums or mints in a package come from and when?
Ye Olde Corner Sweet Shop
I remember my grandma telling us about the corner sweet shop at the end of her road. She described a small, dusty shop with shelves lined with big glass jars, each one filled with a different type of sweet – mint humbugs, boiled sweets, jellybeans and more. She would go in and ask for a “penny’s worth of boiled sweets” and the shop owner would weigh them out and put them in paper bag or a paper twist.
To us it sounded really romantic, but when you think about it, it was a bit like serving fish and chips in old newspaper – vey unhygienic. In fact, this was what encouraged the idea of sweets packaging – especially after the polio epidemic of 1916 made people and the authorities realise that better hygiene was needed.
Another point that also encouraged manufactures and suppliers of wholesale sweets to adopt new wrapping and packaging standards was the increased use of advertising and the introduction of new technologies and materials (waxed paper, silver foil, cellophane etc.) that made wrapping individual sweets commercially viable.
Longer Shelf Life
Today, wrapping is essential. The public is much more aware of hygiene issues and also has much higher demands and expectations regarding the quality and shelf life of their sweets. Today, the customer expects an unopened package of sweets to last for months and that their individually wrapped toffee will be fresh and chewy weeks after the package was opened.
Modern wrapping materials have come a long way over the years – but the basics remain the same with certain materials and combinations of materials being better suited for different types of sweets.
• Wax Paper is often used to wrap especially sticky sweets thanks to its ability to seal-off the individual sweet from moisture and dust. • Cellophane thanks to its transparency (even when coloured) makes for a great display material and also protects the product from grease, moisture and unpleasant odours. • Cardboard is often used as packaging for more up-market collections of bon-bons and filled chocolates. • Aluminium foil is used to wrap bars of chocolate as this protects them from moisture and odours that can quickly and adversely affect their quality. • Vegetable parchment is often used as quality, internal packaging for the more expensive or boutique confectionery. • Polyethylene is used to hermetically seal bulk packaging solutions. • Extruded polyethylene is used to produce custom inserts for individual sweets and chocolates.
Today’s business environment is highly competitive and suppliers of wholesale sweets constantly need to improve the visibility of their products on the shelves. Advertising obviously plays a great part in this, but packaging is no less important. The average shopper shops with their eyes. They may have a list, but it’s a product’s packaging that will grab their attention and encourage them to buy – even if it’s not on their list! So packaging not only needs to protect and preserve the product – it must also draw in the customer and stand out from all the other sweets clamouring for their share of the market.
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established wholesale sweets suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.
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