The packaging industry thrives on innovations, which help companies attract and engage consumers before they purchase the product. Creative, unique and “cool” packaging stand out on the shelves and peaks our interest when we hold the package in the store. In recent years we’ve seen unique packaging ideas, such as squeezable wine, origami labels, game board and puzzle packaging, lunch packages which unfold to a plate and confectionery packaging which turns into a mask.
Technology such as QR codes takes interactivity to the next level. As consumers want to be informed and entertained, scanning the QR code printed on the package opens a new world of product information, entertaining games and in-store deals.
But QR codes are just the tip of the iceberg. Recent image recognition software lets consumers interact with packaging without the need for QR or other codes. As part of the ‘Industry 4.0’ revolution, which involves “smart” products embedded with sensors and wireless connectivity that enables these products to make autonomous decisions – some intelligent packaging contain microchips which preserve temperature and moisture level within the product, smart labels that sense whether the packaging has been opened, and even self venting packaging.
Tetra Pak, a multinational company which develops processing, packaging and service solutions, has recently launched their new ‘connected packaging platform’ which provides consumers access to a world of information about each individual package by scanning the QR code. Consumers can verify product authenticity, engage with mobile experiences, or learn about the origin of the product, down to the specific farm ingredients are grown in.
Manufacturers, on the other hand, can add recipes and engaging stories about their brand, and even track the package location in the delivery chain. The ‘connected packaging platform’ also enables brand owners to know who is scanning their codes and gain better insights about their target audience.