A deeper understanding of the critical challenges related to packaging in the context of the Indian market is vital for the future of the industry and its re-calibration in the context of responsible packaging. The Second Packaging, Design, Innovation, and Technology (PDIT2) conference at Pragati Maidan on 13 December, jointly organized by IppStar and Messe Dusseldorf India, took up this theme again.
Innovation in packaging technologies plays a significant role in increasing brand identity and customer engagement, and this applies to food, pharmaceutical and several other types of products. Packaging can benefit from technology-linked active packaging to prevent intake errors, counterfeiting and stability challenges, especially from moisture, oxygen, hydrocarbons and other gases, or a combination of these. There is a demand for solutions that not only protect food or pharmaceutical products from tampering and spoilage but also proactively help to overcome such challenges and even track the outcomes.
Active and Intelligent Packaging Session at PDIT2
This PDIT2 conference offered a unique opportunity to learn from international experts who specially traveled to deliver a session on ‘Trend Watch – Active and Intelligent Packaging.’ The session was moderated by Andrew Manly, communications director of the Active & Intelligent Packaging Association (AIPIA), who also delivered a keynote ‘Introduction to Smart Packaging.’ In the keynote session, Manly said, “We believe that modern technologies like active and intelligent packaging can make packaging much more worthwhile for both the consumer as well as for the brand owner.”
According to him, consumer engagement is a key driver for smart packaging. It helps to fix brand attention and build a much more developed relationship with their customer. He said that AIPIA also understands the responsibilities of all types of packaging for sustainability and the circular economy and asserted that active and intelligent packaging could help the industry considerably in this respect.
Traceability and food safety
The session on active and intelligent packaging contained the presentation of Prasanna Sukhi of Kezzler India on ‘The Role of Active Packaging in Safe Food and Saving Food – Intelligent Packaging for Digitalizing the Supply Chain.’ He addressed the importance of traceability for food safety and Kezzler’s active role in digitizing the food supply chain. He also put forth some of the real-world issues, such as lack of consumer insights, lack of data to drive better product and marketing decisions and regulatory compliances for traceability.
There is a constant pull from consumers to improve their experience as well as the threat of counterfeit products. “Securing the supply chain from production to consumption will efficiently stop counterfeit products and illicit trade,” he concluded. Kezzler also recently shared a case study of providing global traceability services to a dairy product manufacturer, FrieslandCampina, for its Friso range.
Can packaging become smart, soon enough?
Roland Lartigue of Toppan made a brief presentation on “Can packaging become ‘smart’ enough in the near future?” He concluded affirmatively, “Yes, a package can be smart enough if you add enough capability on it. One of the main capabilities we think is the opening detection and the fact to be readable with the smartphone. Doing things like this, you can convert existing packaging into smart packaging quite efficiently.”
Evolution of brand protection
Rohit Singhal of NXP delivered the last presentation of this session on ‘Advances in NFC Technology to Protect & Enhance Brand Experiences.’ Explaining how near field communication (NFC) transforms products into digital assets, he said, “When you buy a product and sell it to end consumers, you must have traceability. Adding NFC chips to these products and using a smartphone can have complete traceability from the origin to the end consumer. Moreover, it helps in direct one-to-one engagement between brands and consumers. Using NFC and IoT network, we can provide value to the smart packaging.”
According to him, brands increasingly seek end-to-end solutions to support fast, easy and scalable NFC deployments and NXP offers end-to-end solutions for them.
The full-day conference on a damp and messy day at Pragati Maidan concluded with good industry networking amongst the more than 130 participants, including 20 brand owners. Additionally, the first set of case studies of creativity and innovation in packaging and labels were given the IppStar-Packaging South Awards. Case studies were invited for innovations in design, technology and overall packaging systems, and a fourth category was added based on the entries received. The fourth category for a case study of creativity and innovation for social impact in packaging design was also awarded.