Jenny Stanley
Jenny Stanley 10 October 2023

What is Intelligent Packaging? Exploring the Basics

Intelligent packaging, or sometimes called "smart packaging," refers to packaging systems that are embedded with sensory, communication, or other technological functions beyond the conventional packaging role.

These functionalities can range from monitoring freshness, improving safety, enhancing convenience, and even playing a role in the overall product experience.

For instance, a food item's intelligent packaging might change color when the contents are no longer safe to consume, or a wine bottle might have a chip that tells the consumer about its origin, ageing process, and even suggests food pairings.

One such subset of intelligent packaging that has gained significant traction in recent years is Connected Packaging.

To learn more about this, please see “Connected Packaging vs Smart Packaging vs Intelligent Packaging”.

Connected Packaging

Connected Packaging is where physical products are linked with the digital realm, creating a seamless and interactive user experience.

Often using technology like QR codes, NFC (Near Field Communication), and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), connected packaging enables brands to engage with consumers directly through their product packaging, offering value-added services, experiences, or information.

Gulf Union Campaign: An Insight into Connected Packaging Innovation


The primary challenge was capturing the attention of schoolchildren and making Gulf Union's juices an essential part of their school preparation. Moreover, the brand needed to communicate the juices' role in energising and preparing the students for the academic year.

Solution & Results

In partnership with Appetite Creative, Gulf Union introduced two engaging games, "Juice Punch" and "Juice Run." These games were not just about entertainment but also subtly conveyed the cognitive and energy benefits of the juices.

The inclusion of a "Selfies" section and a "Leaderboard" feature further enriched the user experience, promoting repeated engagement. The campaign's outcome was an engaging Back to School experience for students.

Through the interactive games and challenges, Gulf Union effectively communicated its brand's message, leading to an enhanced brand perception. The IQ-focused "Juice Punch" game combined entertainment with education, subtly promoting the cognitive advantages of their product.

Additionally, the QR codes streamlined digital interaction, allowing Gulf Union to gather invaluable insights into user behaviour.


Intelligent packaging, particularly connected packaging, is revolutionising how consumers interact with products. When employed strategically, such as in the Gulf Union example, it can heighten the consumer experience, amplify brand perception, and foster a deeper connection between the product and its audience.

With the continuous evolution of technology and the growing expectations of consumers, intelligent packaging will undoubtedly play an even more significant role in shaping the future of product interactions.

Visit Appetite Creative’s Blog for more of such content!

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