The snack food industry continues to grow, with worldwide sales in 2022 at $506 billion (in U.S. dollars) and the projections for 2023 are $535 billion, according to Statista. Here are the historical and projected sales of snack foods worldwide from 2014 – 2027.
Are you ready for the growth of the snack food industry at your facility?
In October 2022, Cablevey Conveyors commissioned the independent research firm, Ascend2, to conduct a research study titled Evaluating and Implementing New Conveyor Systems. The 16-page study (download for free) asked 290 food processing professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom to provide their insight on critical considerations when evaluating conveyor systems.
In this article, we will review and analyze the findings from 177 food processing professionals that are conveying snack foods. What are they doing to prepare for growth?
Finding #1: Budgeting for Growth.
85% of facilities processing snack foods are increasing their budget for conveying equipment and maintenance in the next 12 months. 33% tell us that they are increasing significantly the budget needed to meet growth opportunities. Why the increase in the budget? The increase is in response to how much these businesses grew in the past year.
Finding #2: The best solution to maintain the integrity of conveying snack foods.
You need to convey delicate snack foods and components with confidence for less product waste and loss. Whether sold independently or as part of a mix, snack components, and foods require a combination of containment and gentle conveyance to avoid the breakage of delicate elements.
What system ranks #1 by the snack food industry professionals for maintaining the integrity of snack foods? Cable and disc conveyors are first at 54%.
When evaluating a conveying system for product integrity, here are two questions to ask:
- Will the system maximize hygiene levels while minimizing downtime?
- Will the system gently convey your products to avoid material breakage and product loss?
Finding #3: Can your workspaces facilitate needed growth?
An important consideration of growth is your workspaces and facility requirements. What conveying systems are best for the space that you have available?
According to the snack food processing experts surveyed, the #1 conveying system (55%) for maximizing available space is cable and disk conveyors. Cable and disk conveyors dramatically beat the #2 system on the list, bucket elevators by 11%!
Here are a few questions you should ask when evaluating a conveyor system to optimize the space at your facility.
- Do you have enough floor space or ceiling height to accommodate certain conveyor types?
- Does the layout of the conveying system take into account easy access for cleaning and maintenance, worker safety, and operational performance?
Bucket systems were #2 to cable and disc conveyors on the ability to accommodate workspace requirements. Here is a short video that shows the benefits of a cable and disk conveyor system vs. a bucket conveyor system.
Finding #4: Consider maintenance and downtime when you plan.
For snack foods, what conveying systems are the most efficient? Cable and disc conveyors lead the pack at 50%.
What are a few questions should you ask when evaluating the right conveyor system when it comes to maintenance and downtime? Questions to ask:
- How much time will be spent disassembling and cleaning the system?
- Will maintenance and downtime costs exceed any savings that you realized when purchasing the system?
Finding #5: Don’t forget energy efficiency.
What contributes to energy efficiency? The size of the motor and the amount of horsepower required to run a conveying system can have a major impact on production costs. What conveying systems are the most energy efficient for snack foods? Cable and disc conveyors are #1 at 55% (by a wide margin).
Here are two questions to ask regarding energy and efficiency:
- How much energy will this system use?
- Is there a high or a low cut-off point at which this system becomes inefficient? Conclusion
The snack foods industry is growing and evolving. This research study provides insight into the specifics of how industry professionals are preparing for that growth and making the best decisions for their facilities.
The research points to cable and disc conveyors as the superior solution for snack foods. Tubular conveyors help streamline snack food processing and maintain both quality and proper proportions in nutritional mixes, product integrity, and product characteristics important to snack food purchasers. To
find out if a Cablevey system is the best solution for conveying your snack foods, have the Cablevey Testing Center perform a free test for you. The Testing Center will provide you with the data to help you make the most informed decision for your specific need.
This article only covers a portion of the finding from the Ascend2 research study. Download Evaluating and Implementing New Conveyor Systems for more insight into the food processing industry.