What can we expect from Smart Packaging?

Submitted by Serena Rebollo… on 17 April 2023

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Smart Packaging is one of the main trends emerging in the packaging sector. It is considered a great tool to improve the communication and user experience of brands with their consumers.

That is why the Packaging Cluster has carried out an exclusive report, in collaboration with market AAD, in which the functionalities, applications and the great potential of Smart Packaging are exposed. The study was officially presented in streaming on 30 March.

In the virtual session, Alex Gonzalez FabregasMarket Analyst at Packaging Cluster, and Pol Marin RuzProject Manager at Packaging Cluster, explained the differentiation within the Smart Packaging concepts, where Smart Packaging is the interaction from the packaging to the outside (with its environment) and Active Packaging is the interaction from the packaging to the inside (with the product it protects):

  • Smart Packaging is characterised by its ability to communicate product information and connect with the customer, thanks to smart labels (NFC or RFID), TTI indicators, conductive inks or printed electronics, among others.
  • Active Packaging offers us the possibility of extending the shelf life of the product, the release of compounds to improve the internal characteristics of the packaging and the elimination of compounds from the immediate environment in which the products are packaged. This is possible through gas eliminators, active emitters, humidity controls or microwave susceptors.  

The study also evaluates the Smart Packaging market outlook, expecting a compound annual growth rate of 4.15% between 2020 and 2026, with the global Smart Packaging market expected to reach $43.09 billion in 2026. All this growth is thanks to the increased use and innovation in inspection, safety, control and product preservation technologies, concerns about food safety, demand for transparency and improved communications in the supply chain, digitisation and consumer awareness, and the development of printing technologies and their application potential.

The study concludes with different real cases where, thanks to Smart Packaging, product traceability, mass customisation, monitoring and control of logistics assets, among others, are enhanced thanks to elements such as Augmented Reality, Blockchain and Cloud Computing.

During the session, Adrià Llacuna, Project Director of Market AAD, was able to answer several of the questions surrounding the incorporation of Smart Packaging into the current system. Llacuna stated that "Smart Packaging can help demonstrate the work done by brands in terms of sustainability as the shopping experience has changed and today's consumer has the need to connect with brands that are responsible (Brands Who Care)". He also defended that "the costs of adopting or integrating Smart Packaging are mainly directed towards human capital, as teams have to be trained so that they can respond to the requirements of digital transformation". According to Llacuna, "consumer privacy is one of the major issues to be considered in Smart Packaging and as part of the value chain, we have to be aware of the great challenge it represents".

In summary, Smart Packaging is an innovative technology that offers numerous benefits for both manufacturers and consumers. It is a great tool for product quality control, predictive planning, improved authentication and anti-fraud systems, brand transparency, consumer empowerment and improved shopping experience.  

If you would like to obtain the full study, please click HERE

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