Smart Packaging Trends to Watch for in 2023 and Beyond
Smart packaging, also known as intelligent packaging, amplifies packaging systems used for foods, pharmaceuticals, and other products. It can be used in many ways, but the primary uses are monitoring food freshness, extending shelf life, and displaying quality information.
Their growth is due to advanced integrated innovations, explorations into nanotechnology and its applications, demand for shelf-stable packaging, and developments in printing processes. Adhesives will play a major role in many of the smart packaging trends to ensure that modern smart packaging stays secure, smart labels stay affixed, and food safety standards are met for instance. Trends and growth areas for smart packaging include…
–Smart Packaging Codes (QR Codes)–
Barcodes are a tried and true smart packaging technology. However, one-dimensional barcodes can only hold basic product information. Two-dimensional barcodes, also called smart packaging codes, hold far more data, as combining dots and empty spaces in between increases information storage in a same-sized area.
QR codes are one example of two-dimensional barcodes. Almost every smartphone with a camera and internet access can read the QR code, leading to nearly endless uses. A quick smartphone scan of QR codes can take consumers to a website that delivers product information or anything else a manufacturer wants them to see. Manufacturers and retailers can use QR codes for detailed product traceability and supply chain management.
Other smart packaging codes include smart labels, RFID, data matrix codes, and NFC chips. Such solutions turn packages into data carriers and digital tools. For example, startups use QR data matrix codes on products to create unique digital identities.
NFC is a wireless technology that allows contactless communication between devices, typically smartphones or NFC readers, and NFC-enabled tags or labels. NFC tags embedded in packaging can provide authentication, product information, or interactive content when tapped or scanned by compatible devices.
Data matrix codes are two-dimensional barcodes that can compactly store large amounts of data. They are used in packaging to encode information like serial numbers, batch numbers, or expiration dates. Data matrix codes can also be scanned using barcode scanners or smartphone apps for inventory management, traceability, or quality control.
Using smart packaging codes also helps with improving package traceability and simplifying product authentication using consumer scan data, which helps prevent counterfeiting. Finally, smart packaging engages consumers, and smart codes deliver highly relevant data points to businesses for improving brand awareness and customer retention.
Nanotechnology refers to manipulating and controlling matter at the nanoscale, typically at the atomic or molecular level. It involves designing, characterizing, producing, and applying structures, devices, and systems with unique properties and functionalities due to nanoscale dimensions.
Recent smart packaging trends in nanotechnology include the development of more efficient nanomaterials, nanosensors for detection and monitoring, nanocoatings for improved durability and protection, and nanomedicine for targeted drug delivery.
Nanotechnology enables the development of lightweight and stronger packaging materials with enhanced barrier properties, reducing product spoilage and extending shelf life. In addition, nanosensors can be integrated into the packaging to provide real-time product quality and freshness information.
Nanocoatings can protect the packaging from moisture, UV radiation, and microbial contamination. Additionally, nanotechnology enables the creation of smart packaging that interacts with the environment or consumers, providing features like temperature monitoring or interactive displays.
Major players in the nanotechnology industry include companies like Amcor, 3M, and Bemis Company, Inc. These companies are involved in various aspects of nanotechnology research, development, and commercialization, driving advancements in the field.
And many more…