Active and intelligent packaging in the business of tomorrow

Active and intelligent packaging in the business of tomorrow

Perhaps active and intelligent packaging is already in your home and you don't even know it. Such technologies are developing rapidly today, and virtual reality heralds a real breakthrough here. How to use it in business? 

What are active packaging? 

Active packaging can extend the freshness of the product or prevent unfavorable processes. These are packaging, containing substances that interact with food or the environment. It happens that the packaging is soaked with bactericidal or fungicidal substances, which prolongs the freshness of the product. In short, they are divided into absorbentsto be devoured, and emittersthat produce certain conditions or substances. However, they cannot mask unfavorable changes in the product, e.g. spoilage of meat or fermentation of the drink, because it is illegal. 

What is intelligent packaging? 

A. Muranowicz states ("Packing intelligence, 'Food Safety and Hygiene',2005) that intelligent packaging is one that monitors specific food parameters. As the most common he lists: 

  • time,  
  • temperature, 
  • freshness, 
  • tightness,  
  • humidity, 
  • the content of certain gases, substances (e.g. oxygen). 

The indicators can be located both outside and inside the package. Smart packaging with biosensors is also starting to appear.  

Valuable branding shapes emotions.

Make your packaging a showpiece of your company.

Active and intelligent packaging from the perspective of the entrepreneur 

It is likely that over time such solutions will become more and more available. Today, however, they are not standard and may constitute an additional marketing distinguishing feature. The company's products will distinguish themselves from counterfeit products thanks to active and intelligent packaging, which provides the user with additional data on the degree of consumption or temperature. Marketing can use them in the premium segment, but also in the medical, food and sports industries. Food marketing, and even branding it is also worth basing on the use of such technologies. There is still a lot of room for innovation here. 

Whereas in the past, producers of snacks and drinks for children placed fairy-tale characters and games directly on the packaging, soon they can start engaging children through games or animations placed thanks to active and intelligent packaging in virtual or augmented reality. Another place where active and intelligent packaging is gaining increasing popularity is warehouse. The ability to control the freshness or storage time of products by one look at the product that has changed color is a huge saving of time and resources.

This is a great example of how to solve problems in the production company using new technologies. Just now in transport intelligent labeling solutions are used - by scanning the code, the courier learns the details of the sender, recipient and all shipping information. It also gives you more privacy, because certain information does not have to be on the packaging anymore. They can be hidden as a barcode or QR code. The entrepreneur may also use such active and intelligent packaging as an auxiliary to indicate the quality of his product (e.g. beer that is sold only properly frozen or juice with a guarantee of freshness). It could be too eco-marketing in practice, if intelligent packaging prevents the development of certain substances that are harmful to health or the environment. 

Active and intelligent packaging - news from the market 

Active and intelligent packaging was introduced by Danone using the Track & Connect system to its packaging of children's products. Just scan the code to get information about where and when the product was produced, as well as learn additional data about it. This is mainly related to the brand's popularity in Asia, where there are many fakes that differ in quality from the original. Meanwhile, Malibu released 300,000. interactive liqueur bottles. Buyers in Germany and the UK can take part in the competition, test drink recipes and become part of a community of people sharing photos of moments at a bottle of Malibu. In turn, Toppan Printing has recently developed a technology that allows the chip to be printed directly into the packaging. This reduces the production time, but also increases security, because such a chip is more difficult to remove. 

Is it always worth using active and intelligent packaging? 

The future belongs to such packaging, so it is definitely worth investing in such packaging marketing innovations. Intelligent packaging is suitable for perfect control of the supply chain and sales. Otherwise, it is difficult to ensure the quality of the products and labels indicating defects (too high temperature, low freshness) will discourage purchase.  

When it comes to active packaging, the biggest barrier to using such solutions is the need to download applications or register. This often puts users off. The winning solutions are those that allow you to quickly and with one move "extend" active and intelligent packaging with additional graphics, videos or information. Food marketing and branding based on new technologies, they must combine two extremes: ease of use with advanced packaging functions. 

Augmented reality and active and intelligent packaging 

It gives the most opportunities when it comes to the development of active and intelligent packaging augmented reality. Even today, QR codes on packaging are common, allowing you to learn more about the product. As a result, the customer receives additional information that cannot fit on the packaging. In the past, a CD could have been added to a soda bottle. Today, DJ Jordi Ruz sells Tuned Wines, and customers can download a special playlist for it. This means that they do not receive only alcohol, but an offer to spend the evening in a certain way. An evening with the series and a bottle of wine? Perhaps soon access to the new episode of the series will be available virtually along with the wine, receiving the full evening package. 

It can be expected that in the future active and intelligent packaging will increasingly use artificial intelligence and digital communication, e.g. by sending notifications to the user's smartphone. There are already smart refrigerators today that let you know when your milk runs out. Perhaps in the future they will also inform remotely when the milk breaks down? 

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