- A Deloitte survey of 425 business leaders from 12 industries between November 2017 and February 2018 revealed smart packaging — particularly connected packaging able to communicate with other packages or the internet — is attracting increased investment from senior executives eager to take advantage of its potential applications.
- The New York-based multinational business services company said smart packaging generated $23.5 billion in revenues in 2015 and is projected to grow 11% annually, totaling $39.7 billion by 2020.
- As market leaders across different industries embrace innovative smart packaging applications, Deloitte said there is opportunity to both create data to make better business decisions, as well as use applications to thrill consumers. The company will present the survey findings next month at the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association U.S. Summit in New Jersey, Dairy Reporter said.
According to Chicago-based design and packaging firm PKG Brand Design, smart packaging can be many things. In general, it's packaging that is functional, informative, easy to use, sustainable and able to enhance the product experience.
"The more of these criteria food packaging designs fulfill, the likelier the products will be a hit with consumers," the company noted in a blog post.
Deloitte cited a MarketsandMarkets research report that put the global smart packaging market figure at $39.7 billion. This report projected a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% from 2014 to 2020. Others have been even more optimistic about growth, with Allied Market Research expecting a CAGR of 7.8% between 2014 and 2022 and a total global smart packaging market value of about $37.8 billion.
Industry leaders are increasingly considering smart packaging to transform supply chains, integrity and customer experience, Deloitte said. These packaging systems can monitor temperature, limit spoilage, extend shelf life, detect contamination and track a product from origin to final delivery. They can also play a role in reducing waste and enhancing sustainability — two elements that can bolster a product's appeal.
Some CPG firms are taking advantage of smart packaging trends by using smart sensors, near-field communication and printed electronics on labeling. Italian olive oil brands are fighting product fraud with an app called iOlive that helps authenticate items via special tags integrated with product packaging and readable by enabled smartphones, Industrial Packaging noted. Other brands, including Heineken, use in-line sensors to improve productivity and collect information on the pressures bottles and cans go through.
The latest advancements in smart packaging fall into two categories, according to Confectionery News. There are active applications — which provide functional benefits such as controlling moisture and oxygen levels — and intelligent ones — which are able to communicate changes in products. These are being used in the form of barcodes and QR codes to use smartphones to access sourcing and nutritional information and allow feedback to brands via smartphones, and patented intelligent inks and pigments that can change color in response to things like temperature and CO2 levels.
As smart packaging options increase, food and beverage companies will need to decide how to use these tools and at what points they work with in the supply chain. They will need to consider the ways consumers could and should interact with the packaging.
Monitoring how effective and efficient the packaging is will also be key, and as always, cost will be a consideration. However, the potential benefits of fresher, safer products and increased transparency could be sizeable.