Innovation in twist and wrap technology

Twist and wrap sweets continue to be a favourite with the public, marking a long history of consumers enjoying individually wrapped sweets. Today, twist and wrap confectionery populates Quality Street tubs, gift boxes, and even adapts well-known confectionery favourites, like Cadbury’s Duo bars. Just last year, packaging company Futamura celebrated an 85-year history of twist wrapping individual sweets, demonstrating that demand for sweets packaged in this way continues to be strong, as a nostalgic way of unwrapping sweets to be shared and enjoyed. 

Packaged confectionery takes many forms, which includes fold wrapping, diefold wrapping – envelope folds, pillow packs and others in a variety of materials using plastic, aluminium, paper and foil. Early confectionery packaging was made from cellophane, which has shifted to polypropylene film in modern usage. Polypropylene production began in the 1950s and has since become one of the most popular and commercially used polymers in packaging. Polypropylene has an operating temperature of 123 degrees celsius, making it well suited for the packaging of foods that require long-term, unrefrigerated sealing, like confectionery. Individually wrapping confectionery ensures the preservation of quality and protection of products from contaminants, as well as offering convenience to the consumer. Twist and wrap confectionery provides all of these benefits on top of offering a sensory experience, as the consumer enjoys hearing and feeling the crinkle of the packaging as they unwrap it.  

A nostalgic experience reminiscent of unwrapping confectionery in childhood, twist and wrap confectionery has proved opportune from a branding perspective. The individual packaging enables the brand owner to come up with inventive ways of branding their confectionery. Quality Street’s then-owner Harold Mackintosh had conceived the idea for the confectionery tin from a desire to create for the public affordable toffee, which he chose to wrap in different colours to signal their different flavours.  

Harold was instrumental in bringing in the twist and wrap machine so each toffee could be packaged in its distinctive wrapper. Colour has long since come to connote flavour, as Mars’ Starbursts provide the perfect example of colour and flavour associations. Red to connote strawberry, green to connote lime, yellow to connote lemon, and so on. Research has demonstrated that brightly coloured packaging for confectionery attracts consumers, in particular young children. Purchase decisions are often made quickly and means companies must design their packaging so it catches the eye of consumers. 

According to a report released by Reportlinker, ‘Global Packaging Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact and Forecasts (2022 – 2027)’, innovation in the packaging sector is being driven by growing demand for sustainability, legislation and safety concerns exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic. Packaging confectionery in environmentally friendly packaging means these safety standards and quality can be upheld without poorly impacting on the environment. The report predicts that traditional packaging, like polypropylene, may be replaced by flexible packaging in the near future, incorporating materials such as paper, plastic, aluminium foil or film…

To read more see our latest issue here.

Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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