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The Top Five trends in Packaging being driven by Consumer Safety.

Where do you see packaging in the next five years? Do you think high-tech packaging is the way forwards or will it become a flash in the pan, gimmick, that was interesting for a while? New research by Smither Pira Research seems to suggest that the next five years in packaging will be revolutionary and present huge commercial opportunities for companies to achieve greater consumer interactions. Here’s what they see are the top five packaging trends being driven by ...

Are you a ‘technophobe’ or will you embrace ‘smart’ packaging technologies?
Do you really want to be engaged with your purchases?

The demand for new technology has surged over the last twenty years. We no longer carry mobiles that are bricks, our televisions are ‘smart’ and even our watches are linked to smart technologies, making it easier to cope with modern day life. Even my parents, who are in their seventies, carry smartphones and browse the internet. We’re all connected to or know people who are connected to technology!

In modern society ‘technophobes’ are now few and far between, which is why smart / intelligent packaging concepts are believed to be the future. Packaging companies have been spurred on by advancements in technology and are now ready to increase the market share of active and intelligent packaging solutions. The estimated market value stands at $5.68 billion, with a split of $4.62 billion on active packaging and $1.06 billion on intelligent. Active packaging has a slower growth rate but incorporates food freshness, food waste and convenient packaging, whilst intelligent packaging has a higher growth rate and points to printed electronics, microsensors and authentication platforms. It is estimated that by 2023, the collective market will be worth $7.60 billion; that’s an annual growth rate of 5.9%!

According to Smither Pira, the seismological shift expected in the next five years is being driven by consumer safety, so, what can active and intelligent packaging offer brands and consumers? Big brands want usable products, not gimmicks, that will add value to their brand. Whilst, consumer use of smart technologies comes from a desire to maximise productivity and save time and money. So, smart and intelligent use of packaging could provide a ‘win win’ for both parties.

Take a look at these five trends taking the packaging world by storm:

Major brands are connecting directly with consumers through AR experiences or QR Codes, triggering real-time data and insights into purchasing habits. Consumer engagement is now sophisticated enough to permit automatic purchasing, without the need for store checkouts. All of these advancements provide unrestricted access to consumer lifestyles.

Each week counterfeit goods are seized; markets, car boot sales and online purchases are the main targeted areas. Perfumes and pharmaceutical goods are produced cheaply, using toxic substances that can be life threatening in some instances, thus, QR codes and NFC technology is now being used to guard against counterfeiting, making 2.5 billion smartphone users, authenticators and this prevents counterfeit goods from entering the supply chain. No counterfeit goods, means consumers can purchase safely and companies have greater brand protection.

Increasingly, consumers are interacting with their brands via packaging through printed electronics. Companies are connecting consumers to create value to their products, by means of special promotions / coupons, games and ingredients, but it’s potential extends beyond mere games. Printed electronics can be used for tracking and inspection systems, which means that companies can now reduce costs and increase product functionality.

Waste in any format is a cause for concern, but in 2017 1.3 billion tonnes of food for human consumption was wasted globally. In Europe we were accountable for 88 million tonnes of food waste which has led to a commitment from the EU to reduce food waste by half, by 2030. In terms of packaging, new active and intelligent technologies will support this new commitment. Packaging can be used to incorporate freshness indicators, time-temperature controls and oxygen scavengers; all of which can double the shelf life of food without using best before dates. Data reveals that consumers shop weekly, rather than daily, more people live on their own and we have an aging population which in the long term would not just reduce food waste, but save money too.

Pharmaceutical regulations are set to change in the foreseeable future and NFC technology, smart e-labels and smartphones will open the door to digital identification and brand protection, giving consumers greater confidence in products. This technology is not just about tracking and authenticity, incredibly we now have smart technologies capable of tracking how much medication we use, are able to prompt us to take tablets and give us dosage instructions too!

However you choose to look at packaging, changes are coming and the desirability and added value consumers will have from technological advancements can not be ignored. Consumer interaction is at an all time high and set to become the ‘norm’. You may not have a problem with counterfeiting, but you may want to interact directly with consumers, in which case intelligent packaging could set you up with real-time data. Whatever your need: active or intelligent, in the next five years we will discover if consumers are as invested in new technology as research would suggest.

If you’re interested in learning more about active and intelligent packaging,
booking a no-obligation consultation with the allpack® team is sure to set you on your way.

Contact us here

Source: ‘Five Trends boosting intelligent packaging adoption’: Anne Marie Mohan, 6 May 2018, Packaging World.