Article

Jenny Stanley
Jenny Stanley 16 August 2021

The Future of Smart and Connected Packaging

There is no doubt that smart packaging and connected packaging will keep evolving in the coming years as new technologies continue to be studied and researched. In this article, we will look at the differences between them, how they changed over the past years and some trends we oversee.

Smart packaging is now more relevant than ever. Due to the pandemic, technologies such as near-field communication (NFC) and QR-codes have been used more widely and supported by most iOS and Android devices. In this article, we will see how connected and smart packaging is growing and what their future holds. If you want to learn more about smart packaging and see how it can be useful to your brand, this article is for you!

Is Connected Packaging and Smart Packaging the Same?  

But firstly, what is the difference between smart and connected packaging you may ask?

"Smart packaging" is a general term that describes packaging that uses technology to become more than just a container. Smart packaging generally uses technology that will provide product or brand information to consumers.

"Connected packaging" finds applications in almost all retail product categories, including toys, cosmetics, games and clothing. In connected packaging applications, a QR code is printed on the product packaging, or an NFC label is present on the inside. Consumers can activate this code with a mobile device to receive informational content.

How Connected and Smart Packaging Have Changed Over the Past Years  

The use of intelligent packaging is not new to the food industry. It is generally used to track products from their manufacturers to their points of sale. It comes in the form of barcodes, RFID tags, QR codes or electronic chips. Beyond the supply chain, it is also used to provide consumers with information about products or to access promotional campaigns for example.

In recent years, the field of intelligent packaging has become a proper industry, which may be linked to consumer's concerns about the origin of their food. According to a report by Accuray Research, the global smart packaging market is set to grow by 5.4% over the next decade to reach $52bn by 2025.

Thanks to smart packaging, customers can use their smartphone to find out exactly which farm their food comes from, but also the distance travelled and storage time. In addition to provenance information, a number of companies are looking to integrate practical information into their packaging, such as directions for use or recipe ideas.

This connected packaging is a new channel of communication, and, therefore, advertising, between a brand and a consumer. Thanks to this means of communication, it is possible to offer competitions, games, advertisements for other products to consumers.

Intelligent packaging is also useful from an ecological point of view. Indeed, there is an impact on the environment: for example, it is possible to know if the expiry date is approaching and thus reduce food waste, it is also possible to transmit information on the method of recycling the packaging.

What’s the Future of Smart and Connected Packaging? 

Here at Appetite Creative, we believe that smart and connected packaging will keep evolving and have a pretty interesting future.

Firstly, connected content is becoming more accurate and resourceful, especially in the food industry where it is now possible for a package to send a notification if the product is out of date. In the healthcare sector, smart packaging can now be used to remind patients to take their pill healthcare and remind them of expiry dates. 

We foresee that the results connected packaging provides will become more customized and personalized. Thanks to data collection the information and experience contained in the package will be targeted to every specific customer. Every client will have an enhanced connected experience with the product they bought.

Also, RFID sensors will increasingly make their way into the market. It will allow the package to know about the current state of the product, which will be useful in the food industry especially.

These sensors can be used to transmit information over very large distances. It can, for example, warn a farmer that these products have been exposed to bad weather conditions on their way to the point of sale and will therefore not be consumable.

Some more powerful AI and AR will be used to provide the results based on customer behaviour and need. Augmented reality is a technology that will transform the packaging into an interactive experience. These experiences can help brands to showcase their values, products and commitments.

Augmented reality allows consumers to access this information through informative, fun and entertaining content. As an example, it can allow you to "meet" the company's president, an employee, etc. Combining storytelling and AR strengthens the link with the customer by creating certain proximity. In the future, we can imagine ever more precise and enriching AR content aimed at the consumer.

We could soon see packaging talking directly to consumers with on-pack digital chips linked to their smartphones. The customer won’t even have to look for a code or tag to scan, the product will send the information by itself to their smartphone, to inform them of the expiration date or how to recycle the product for example.

One of the most important things in the future of smart and connected packaging is that it provides a positive experience for consumers, by providing them with access to transparent information. For brands, it provides them with a greater understanding of their customers and for the environment, it’s a great tool that can be used to reduce food waste and encourage recycling.

So, we could see that connected and intelligent packaging has an interesting history and a future! Whether from a commercial, advertising or environmental point of view, packaging still has a lot to offer. They provide the customer with a connected, informative and entertaining experience while ensuring brand transparency.

The current health situation has led us all to spontaneously scan the QR codes found on restaurant tables and shop entrances... A gesture that we will surely keep in the after-covid. It is, therefore, the time to integrate intelligent and connected packaging into your brand strategy!

If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact Appetite Creative to discuss connected packaging projects for your company. If you wish, you can also check out our previous connected packaging projects such as Tetra Pak or Vodafone.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. And if you are not applying this profitable...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 6 February 2018
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of...

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more
Top 10 Skills to Become a Rockstar in Digital Marketing

Top 10 Skills to Become a Rockstar in Digital Marketing

Technology is continuously evolving, prompting marketers and entrepreneurs to dive into digital marketing to increase brand awareness, reach their target market, and ultimately drive sales and profit. 

Jessica Andriani
Jessica Andriani 7 September 2018
Read more
How to Encourage Customers to Post Photos about Your Brand

How to Encourage Customers to Post Photos about Your Brand

Visuals impact buyer behavior – there’s no doubt about it. But not just any visuals will have the impact you planned on your eCommerce marketing strategy. If the only images your customers see in relation to...

Luisana Cartay
Luisana Cartay 8 June 2016
Read more
Drip Email Marketing- An Excellent Tool for Nurturing Leads

Drip Email Marketing- An Excellent Tool for Nurturing Leads

If you have a huge customer list and it keeps growing, it becomes challenging to send important email messages to your entire list at once. However, when compared to other marketing channels, emails still have the...

Amy John
Amy John 1 October 2021
Read more