The Packaging Evolution: The Top Trends in Smart, Active, or Intelligent Packaging You Should Know

If you’re wondering what exactly smart packaging, active packaging, and intelligent packaging are all about, you’ve come to the right place – considering that they are relatively new concepts, it’s understandable that you need more information.

But while the concept is relatively new, it’s really not hard to understand. In essence, the terms ‘smart’ ‘active’ and ‘intelligent’ are just concepts added to show that products (and their packaging) can do a lot more than we are used to. They make our lives a lot easier.

The new forms of packaging

To break it all down, it’s best to state exactly what we’re talking about.

They go under different names; some are named ‘smart’ some are named ‘active’ and some are named ‘intelligent’. They’re all part of a new phenomenon in which the packaging gives you more information than traditional forms of packaging.

These new kinds of packaging could, for example, let you know how much of the product is still left in the bottle, whether or not the product is stored at the right temperature, or when the product is already past its expiration date. And this is just the beginning.

It’s all possible because certain sensors within the packaging allow it to happen; it’s all due to micro-electronics, new materials, and great brainstorming.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is another concept that often baffles people, but it’s the way of the future. Basically, more companies are coming up with apps that allow you to run and monitor your applications (such as your alarm system at home, or your refrigerator) with a few simple taps or swipes on your mobile device.

How it all interacts

So, let’s put it all together. On the one hand you have intelligent (or smart, or active) packaging that relays information to you. On the other hand, you’ve got machines and appliances that you are able to control via your mobile device. By making them work together, you’ve got a winning combination; pretty soon your fridge is going to tell you it’s time to throw out that old carton of milk or to get more juice for breakfast. The possibilities are endless.

How is this possible

Smart packaging is just the initial step; it needs to have the rest of the technological innovations to back it up. But it’s certainly happening: your smart packaging can send you information through an appliance at home, and this information is then (in turn) interpreted and sent through the cloud to your mobile device.

The top trends in smart packaging

It’s becoming the trend, no doubt about it. Research has shown that:

  • 62% of respondents agree that a product that re-orders itself or alerts you when new orders must be placed is appealing.
  • About half of all respondents think that scanning a package to learn more about it online is a great idea.
  • 58% of all respondents believe it’s good if a package lets you know that a product has passed its expiry date.

The trend is growing. Here’s where the future is going:

  • Strong temperature and expiry date indicators
  • Retail-dynamic pricing
  • Brand recognition against fraud (true brand identification)

The world is constantly changing, and new technology is making it easier for us to go about our business – it’s great, really, because thanks to all these new innovations, we can focus more on what is really important: getting rid of mundane chores so we can focus on family and work more effectively.

Companies that want to grow and claim their place in the market need to adjust; companies that want to stay-up-to-date will have to see how their packaging will fit into the future. There will be a time (not so soon in the future) where technology will work much better for us – and the Internet of Things, together with smart packaging, will play a big part in this. In fact, the future is already here. It’s time to grab it.

Photo by Matan Segev from Pexels

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