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AI in Smart Packaging

AI in smart packaging has endless potential in marketing, security, quality control, forecasting, and profit maximization.

 

Packaging used to be only functional in nature to contain, protect, and preserve a product. Over time it has evolved into other functions including adding value to the brand and engaging with its users. Now, smart packaging pushes the boundaries and evolves packaging forward in a major way.

 

Expected to reach $59B by the end of 2025, the global smart packaging industry is becoming an important innovation for many companies who want to educate their buyers, protect product quality, and retain full control of the supply chain.

What is Smart Packaging?

Smart packaging refers to packaging with extended function and links the physical and digital world by integrating information and immersive content beyond what is printed on the package surface.  Customer benefit include easy access to information while for businesses it provides insights into consumer behavior that can enable them to craft a more personal experience. Smart packing enables efficient product tracking, helping optimise transport routes while guarding against tampering and other malpractices.

Different Types of Smart Packaging

Active Packaging

This packaging help improve the product by providing elements to make sure the quality is maintained. Example is a food packaging made of materials that produce the amount of moisture that reaches the food.

Intelligent Packaging

This type of packing is capable of intelligent function by sensing that the product or packaging has changed in some way. This is particularly useful for perishable goods, produce, and similar products which are sensitive to temperature and other environmental factors.

 

It’s this type of packaging that employs AI to apply effect in diagnostic and indicator applications.

Connected Packaging

These are packaging that integrates NFC tags and QR codes where users can interact using their smartphones – no app required- to launch dynamic, digital experiences that serve as extensions of the physical packaging. This can be used to provide product information, register a product, or verify authenticity.  

Applications of AI in Smart Packaging

Intelligent Packaging
Connected Packaging

Disseminating Information Through AI

AI can deliver different information to customers using a single product through intelligent packaging. Since many won’t bother reading the lengthy fine print on packages, smart packaging can encrypt invisible signatures. When customer scan product packages audio-visual information will be provided to them at a different level of use.

 

For example, when a customer orders a jam and receives the package inputs can be general product information and nutritional benefits. Once the customer opens the jam, the AI model can deliver creative recipes using the jam. This is one of the many ways AI/VR can create immersive experiences for customers.

Identify Tampering to Package and Product

Deep learning models empower manufacturers to enable alerts in case of tampering or damage to packages. This then notifies the customer that the product is unsafe and the manufacturer or supplier of the damage. In the long run, such data can help identify vulnerabilities in the supply chain and address them.

End of life and Refill

End of Life and Refill Forecast

Through smart packaging, manufacturers can monitor when a product is running low. With AI models, keep tabs on how much product has been used and over what span of time and send buyers an auto-alert asking if they wish to refill. By anticipating needs, enterprises can stay on top of mind buyers and capture a bigger share of repeat purchases.

Enabling Safety in Pharmaceuticals

Integrated with AI models, smart packaging can help caregivers and patients have more visibility and control over the right dosage and effect of medicine administered on patients.

 

Connected packaging also prevents counterfeit drugs from being consumed as customers can now verify product authenticity while pharmaceuticals can better keep track of their supply chain, monitoring packages from production to final consumption.

Appropriate Packaging Decisions

From the data and input of AI models obtained from package journey and usage patterns, manufacturers can adjust package size for optimal safety and consumption. For instance, if data shows that buyers consistently discard a drink bottle after consuming only 80% of the drink the company can launch a new version that’s 20% smaller. AI can also help analyse the stacking of product packages in containers to fully optimise space.

Driving Sustainability

The growing number of environmentally conscious buyers are mindful of the impact their actions have on the environment and expect companies where they buy products from to do the same. With smart packaging, customers have access to material details, sources, product composition, fair-trade, environmental impact and carbon footprint as well as material recycling or upcycling component.

 

Through connected packaging, they can authenticate product validity and engage with the brand and use e-materials to reduce carbon footprint.

As smart packaging continues to evolve and become accessible to enterprises large and small, AI will be an important element to embrace to gain market leadership. By investing in smart packaging brands present themselves as tech-forward organisation that prioritise customers and provides them with the most unique and meaningful experiences.

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