November 29, 2021
In today's competitive market, a package is every bit as important as the product inside. Brands have begun to leverage advances in technology that give them the ability to provide an experience beyond a simple commoditized package. Smart packaging is an umbrella term used to describe a package with increased functionality through new technology. Functionality through prismiq™ smart packaging provides benefits throughout the supply chain like automation, consumer engagement, and more. There are three types of smart packaging: active, intelligent, and connected.
Active packaging refers to a package that has functions beyond simply containing and protecting a product. It interacts with the contents of the package to increase freshness or extend shelf life. It has components that are added or removed to adjust conditions like moisture, oxygen levels, odors, and flavors. Active packaging is primarily used for food and beverage products.
Intelligent packaging monitors the condition of a product, the package, or its environment during transit and storage. Printed codes or marks, electronic or chemical sensors, or microchip-based solutions (RFID & NFC) provide data about each package. Intelligent packaging typically includes an internal or external indicator that provides information such as package location, temperature changes, or if the package has been tampered with.
Connected packaging leverages enhanced graphic design and digital printing to transform a simple package into a connected package. These enhancements encourage consumers to engage with the package by scanning a code that takes them to a curated digital experience. The embedded technology gives companies the ability to track a product, sense or measure an attribute, and communicate to users throughout the supply chain. Although connected packaging is the newest technology in the packaging sector, it’s expected to lead the smart packaging market in the coming years.
Smart packaging is helping companies unlock unrealized value in the supply chain.
Smart packaging permits transparency through an instantaneous ability to track and trace the exact location of a product in the supply chain using unique barcodes, QR codes, or RFID technology. These features enable predictive planning and more efficient inventory management.
Authenticity is increasingly important to consumers. They want to know details like the who, what, and where behind a product’s origin and journey. Smart packaging enables brands to provide proof of authenticity to consumers. In addition, product theft and unauthorized product access are lessened with the use of smart packaging due to its tracking and tracing capabilities.
Smart packaging helps to monitor and control the product environment using sensors, which ensures an optimal product experience for consumers. This is especially useful for food products that need to be shipped and delivered at a specific temperature.
A smart, intelligent package also provides the tools for improved sustainability. Due to its operational efficiency benefits, it reduces the environmental footprint throughout the product lifecycle. It also provides end-users with the information they need to properly dispose of or reuse a package.
Intelligent packaging allows companies to entertain, instruct, and inform consumers. It encourages deeper interaction with the physical product and digital brand presence. Easy access to digital instructions makes products easier to use — from delivery, preparation, dosage, to disposal — and intimately understands customer usage behaviors. It also makes user ordering, reordering, and returning easier for a more seamless customer experience.