Traditional packaging has evolved into smart packaging. Marketers and businesses can increase their profits through smart packaging technology. It reduces food wastage and damaged products during transport to their final destination. This is how smart packaging works. Smart packaging technology provides solutions if you have been receiving complaints from customers. These include defective, adulterated, or damaged products. Learn the basics of smart packaging. Keep reading.
What’s the Smart Packaging?
Smart packaging is a technology that uses the embedded sensor. It aims to protect all types of products during shipping and distribution to end users. It simplifies packaging woes. It also promotes functionality that goes beyond a housing product. It helps track down food freshness, and extend shelf life. It also gives information on the quantity and quality of the product. Smart packaging protects the vendor and customer.
Types of Smart Packaging
Smart Packaging has two types: intelligent packaging and active packaging.
Intelligent packaging can perform intelligent tasks. It monitors products, detects its characteristics, and attributes of the perishable goods. It tracks the products, including their characteristics and attributes. It gives information on the product’s temperature, pH, color, or texture. The manufacturer, vendor or customer will read the information found in the packaging. Active packaging can remove or enhance the packaged food components. The purpose of which is to improve shelf life and quality of the perishable or packaged food.
Benefits of Smart Packaging
The development of smart packaging is essential to food manufacturing and end users. The benefits include:
- Ability to track the product quality through the serial and meta-information. Value-chain stakeholders will receive the data through the NFC or near-field communication.
- Minimizes expenditure on quality control and laboratory testing.
- Efficient product handling that prevents damage and spoilage of the packaged product.
- Establishes connections between the food manufacturer/processor with the end-users.
- Distinguishes and delivers transparent and accurate evidence of the packaged goods. This is through the technology layer.
- Full control of in-site production parameters. This minimizes the risks for OOS or out-of-specification production. OOS is a test result that does not meet the specified criteria.
- Optimizes logistics and fulfillment.
- Offers brand security and eliminates counterfeit products.
- Minimizes costs and waste.
Smart packaging is becoming a popular technology in almost all kinds of industries. These industries are food & beverage, healthcare, pharmaceutical, personal care, cosmetics, and food processors. The bottling industry, house cleaning product industry, and fish industry also enjoy the benefits. Fifty percent of these companies represent FMCG or fast-moving consumer goods.
All industries need real-time data and strict quality control implementation. It is only through smart packaging to enjoy the benefits.
QR Code and RFID Tags
QR Code and RFID tags are important tools in smart packaging. So, what’s the difference between RFID and QR Code?
QR Codes enhance the product inventory management and works similarly with a Barcode. QR code is more versatile than Barcode. You can read it in vertical and horizontal positions with its square shape. The bar code is readable in horizontal positions with its rectangular shape. QR Codes are efficient and loading time is fast. It increases data capacity and lessens error than Barcode. You can scan it with a smartphone or a third-party app on your Android or iOS device. RFID tag uses a scanner to send the data to your computer. Its options and features are fewer than Barcodes. QR Codes require complex technology, so you can read them well. You cannot even customize it for a specific brand.
The growing popularity of smart packaging faces a lot of challenges that it must solve.
- More expenses-Unlike traditional packaging, smart packaging is costly. Mass manufacturing is yet to come. This makes smart packaging quite expensive now.
- No proof of its long-term success. Smart packaging technology is at its infancy stage. It has not shown long-term success since its introduction. It also lacks accurate data about the cost of the technology. The solid business model is also absent in this packaging technology. This is why it lacks support from various industries. It is vital to launch a comprehensive study about smart packaging. The purpose is to let the stakeholders know the benefits they get from the technology.
- It needs the latest manufacturing techniques. Companies want security with regard to the functionality and effectiveness of smart packaging. It is important that those involved in the technology should develop new techniques. These are the fabrication of indicators and sensors. They have to ensure that these things work with existing packaging standards.
- Sustainable-Manufacturers should develop sustainable smart packaging techniques. This is amidst the growing concern about environmental issues in the world. Smart packaging should use organic materials for batteries, circuits, sensors, and displays. Companies will not support smart packaging that does not use recyclable materials. There are more companies that prefer sustainable packaging materials today.
- Lack of legislation-The materials in manufacturing of smart packaging need government regulations. It is vital that the legislative framework needs implementation. This is to ensure that customers will do business with technologies that adhere to the law.
- Data & Security-Smart packaging requires the sharing of personal information. This raises fears from stakeholders. Data privacy and security are at risk in smart packaging. It is important that there should be restrictions to protect vendors and customers.
Example of Smart Packaging
Smart packaging evolves to connect with consumers by developing designs on their packages. Here are some examples of smart packaging.
- Interactive Quizzes & Questionnaires
- Restock & Buy
- Brand Protection
- Personalized Content
- Exclusive Content
- Product Registration
- Incentives & Coupons
- Gamification & Games
- Product journey
Using smart packaging will reduce complaints from customers. A study reveals that more than 42 percent of consumers distrust brands. Over 70 percent of consumers distrust advertising. Smart packaging offers tons of solutions to both vendors and consumers. The fulfillment and distribution are transparent. The products are traceable, which can save time and money if there are damages. Whoever is at fault is liable for the poor quality and defects of the product. This gives the customer total satisfaction.