Technology-Enabled Smart Packaging
In today’s food industry, a product’s package is every bit as important as its contents. Today’s packaging can be smart, with electronics installed that provides a variety of functions. Active packaging and intelligent packaging are two types of smart packaging. Active packaging, such as absorbers to remove oxygen from the box, involves adding or removing components into the packaged food or immediate surrounds to improve the product’s shelf life or quality. Intelligent packaging is defined as packaging that can track a product, recognise an attribute of the packaged item or its immediate environment, and communicate that information to the user.
Fig.1. Benefits of Smart Packaging (FutureBridge.com)
Smart packaging offers expanded functions, beyond the traditional need to protect and transport consumer goods. That translates to audio, tactile feedback, and other sensations felt by consumers engaging with an intelligent product container in its most basic form. But smart, interactive packaging is only getting started, thanks to cutting-edge electronic technology capable of sensing and exchanging a wide range of data.
Packaging trends are driven by cost-effectiveness and consumer preferences, therefore smart packaging choices are changing the game for forward-thinking contract packagers. Consumers tend to be willing to spend more for packaging that reflects their lifestyle ideals in quest of supply chain integrity and transparency. As high-volume smart packaging solutions have grown more cheap, intelligent packaging designs have gained traction in the pharmaceutical, automotive, health and beauty, and other specialised sectors. Cost-effective interactive packages are replacing standard solutions across the whole food supply chain as innovation tests new horizons.
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