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As we see signs of tentative growth in the confectionery industry, it may be time to re-evaluate your production machinery and check that it is still up to the job.

There are a range of confectionery coding technologies that can be used to apply your best before date and batch code onto your bars, bags and boxes of candy, but which is right for you?

Maybe we have more bad days in the UK than our friends on the continent because we are the largest consumer of snacks in Europe.  Habits are changing though and there has been a noticeable move to more healthy snacks. This might account for the fact that confectionery sales have not been as buoyant in recent years, although 2017 did buck a five-year decline with an increase in revenues, and sales forecasts for 2018 are continuing this positive trend.

On the 28th March 2018, the UK government gave the green light to the bottle Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). Similar schemes have been rolled out in 38 countries including Sweden, Germany and Norway, where 95% of plastic bottles have been recycled since the scheme was introduced in 1999. 

“No one will own a car in 20 years,” Bob Lutz, one of the biggest names in the car industry, recently predicted, in reference to the growing trend of ride-sharing. Add to this the ongoing emergence of the electric car, the self-driving car, and the connected car – and it’s clear that the future of the automotive industry will look very different to the present.

Components in automotive manufacture are, in many cases, meant to wear. Parts like brake pads or discs for example will wear out eventually. When manufacturers also need to apply traceability codes, it is important that they last as long as the component.

Laser codes can’t be rubbed off, making them the ideal solution for traceability and anti-counterfeiting. With Linx Fibre Laser Marking Systems you can create a permanent mark on a wide range of materials including rubber, plastic, metal and packaging foils.

Detailed pre-printed product information is a vital part of chemicals packaging, often governed by regulations and legislation.

Whether you buy into this as a long-lasting development or regard it as just another fad, there are important implications for the meat industry. Because, when these flexitarians do choose to eat meat, it is more than likely they will seek out a premium cut and a high-quality product. Indeed, quality is a driving factor for many consumers in their purchases of meat – perhaps one of the lasting results of the horse meat scandal of 2013.

As with most industries, the implications of Brexit are generating much discussion and conjecture among meat processors. It is still too early to predict what is likely to happen, but undoubtedly the sector is already experiencing intense competition, which has led to an even greater need to maximise productivity and efficiencies in the processing and packing operations. Nevertheless, this still has to be achieved while delivering consistent quality products – no one wants to suffer the high costs and loss of brand reputation of a recall.

The dairy sector is seeing plenty of new product development and line extensions as consumers demand both to eat more healthily and to be able to snack on-the-move, while still enjoying the occasional treat. 

Notable recent examples include beet yoghurt, protein ice cream, curd cottage cheese with fruit, and Kefir, all contributing to a projected global growth in demand for dairy of 2.5% pa to 2020.

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