As technological advances continue to be made, the projected influence of “Smart and Intelligent Packaging” is altering the way in which consumers will view product packaging and its function in the future. The industry itself is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 5.4% over the next 10 years, reaching an estimated $52 billion by 2025 (Cision, 2017). Many globally recognised corporations and their brands have begun to acknowledge the opportunity for differentiation and innovation that comes alongside smart packaging, including those in the food/drink industry.
We are currently witnessing the growth of 5 key trends in this sector (FST Journal, 2015):
- Material Substitution
- Light Weighting
- Smart Packaging
- Bio-Based, but not Bio-Degradable Plastics
Smart Packaging is potentially the most relevant key trend as it is one that consumers can directly understand and interact with. Gatorade, for example, having been working on “Gatorade GX”, a new line of sports drink delivery systems that can inform the user of which sports drink formulas to consume and at which quantities/speeds to consume them. The bottle cap, fitted with sensors and microchips, is in its third iteration and has been an on-going project since 2014. Additionally, Heineken composed their first “Interactive Bottle”, utilising the relevant elements of smart packaging. The bottles would light up and blink when music was played and when individuals clinked their bottles together in celebration. Organisations are fast realising that packaging is moving away from the simple means to an end that it previously was. Packaging is now another opportunity to be innovative and entice customers into buying your product. Not only does smart packaging provide safety features that normal packaging cannot, it also interacts and engages with the customer directly.
The UWI Label understands the need for engagement with its users, a concept in which its elegant and simplistic design was built upon. The universal colour scheme invites users of all ages to connect with the label and to quickly understand its meaning. Whilst this “Smart Packaging” trend is certainly booming in other industries such as Aerospace and Life Sciences, these are areas where the end user tends not to have any face to face interaction with the product. The Food and Drink Industry brings consumers closer to the everyday products they love. The UWI Label is a simplistic yet refined “Smart Packaging” device which ensures your products are the safest they can be, whilst standing out in what is fast becoming a crowded market place.