Smart packaging, is it the future?
Smart packaging, also known as intelligent packaging or active packaging has been around for a while but the market is set to increase rapidly over the next few years. According to a study by Grand View Research, the smart-packaging market could reach a whopping $26.7 billion by 2024.
What is smart packaging?
Retailers and food producers are already utilising technology within their packaging designs, including codes that can be scanned to gain information or interact with on smartphones. Brands of tinned tuna can now be scanned to check the origins of the catch and chocolate bars can be scanned to entice consumers to partake in app style games or to connect on social media. In addition to QR codes and other scannable printed food packaging, intelligent packaging can also refer to moisture, atmosphere control and security measures such as holograms and tags.
Intelligent packaging is changing
Smart packaging is now heading in an even more intelligent direction with the introduction of microchips. The possibilities are endless if food packaging is embedded with a chip and maybe also a slightly worrying prospect. Products could be interactive, signal when sell by dates are up and provide cooking instructions. In addition, manufacturers would potentially be able to track the journey of their product, right up until the point of disposal.
Recycling smart packaging
The disposal of these electronics is something that requires some careful consideration. For some years manufacturers have been focussed on the recyclable elements of their packaging. More and more have opted for simple packaging designs and cut down on materials and print as eco friendly alternatives. With the introduction of electronic components, will this be another set back for those striving to become more environmentally friendly?
Do you use smart packaging?
Is it more convenient to simply read the packaging? The next time you pick up a packet of sandwiches or a chocolate bar, would you consider scanning a code on your smart phone or entering a code number online? Whilst the technology s moving fast, whether or not consumers are ready – or requiring the technology still awaits to be seen.