Confronting coding challenges in the bakery industry

Consistent year on year growth of the food industry means that packaged food requirements are steadily increasing across the world. Chief among these is ensuring that ‘best before’ dates, barcodes and traceability information are clearly and accurately printed onto all types of packaging. This is particularly relevant in the baking industry, one of the most diverse food sub-sectors.

Baking continues to be one of the key growth sectors in the food industry. The global packaged baked goods market reached a total of 318 billion units in 2015 (biscuits alone accounted for 52% of units), resulting in a 4% growth on the previous year and bringing its worldwide value to $339 billion.

Baked goods have a relatively short shelf life, yet are produced in high volumes. Furthermore, they comprise a range of products that require different types of flexible packaging. Breads, cakes, biscuits and other snacks all have their own type of packaging (such as plastic bags, flow packs, food pouches or carton boxes), which represents a challenge when applying codes, as the coding area where the data needs to be printed will vary from item to item. As a result, the large number of product types within the bakery packaging environment can potentially lead to decreased line availability so limiting production capacity.

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