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Smart Packaging: The Next Big Thing in the Pharma Industry

The growth in the global pharmaceutical industry will be driven by safety concerns and the ability of products to fit in the loop of connectivity and communication. Smart labels, QR scanning, brand protection, and identification are some of the aspects that indicate that smart packaging industry needs to evolve constantly to serve all product-shipping business verticals, including pharmaceuticals.

One of the key challenges faced by pharma companies today involves the increasing cost of bringing new formulas into the market. In the case of generic medicines, competition is becoming fierce. Furthermore, companies in the sector are increasingly experiencing pharmaceutical logistics challenges such as shortcoming relating to drug expiry date management, counterfeiting issues that jeopardize quality of care, and product degradation and recalls. A lot of effort is being put in by players in the sector to re-design pharma value chain and turning these roadblocks in opportunities. Among the several advanced techniques used by pharma companies for enhancing performance, smart packaging has been a breakthrough. Smart packaging is an advanced packaging system that can monitor changes in a product or its environment and help pharma companies to act upon these changes. Sensor-equipped smart packaging in the pharma industry can help track a product along the supply chain to the end-user.

There is no doubt these are exciting times in the pharmaceutical industry with advanced techniques such as smart packaging underway. But is your business prepared to accommodate these trends? Request a free proposal to know how our experts can help you best prepare for the changing market trends.

Benefits of smart packaging in the pharma industry

smart packagingTemperature control

If medicines are not stored at the right temperature, it can not only lead to product damage but can also prove to be dangerous for consumption. With smart packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical industry, it is now possible to create labels informing about a product’s temperature during the shipping process and storage. This helps doctors, pharmacists or patients to determine whether the drugs are safe to take or not.

Adhering to medication

Smart packaging for pharma products is a great way of reminding patients about adhering to the prescription. NFC tags used in smart packaging provide patients with enough information so that they know they are using the drug as intended. The information is often delivered in an interactive way on the patient’s smartphones, for instance via video.

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Stock control

Smart packaging will be beneficial for pharma companies to keep tabs on their stock and manage their inventory levels better. The sensors in smart packaging allows companies to check the stock level available with them and adjust the production and supply accordingly to prevent situations of understocking or overstocking.

Enhances clinical trials

Smart packaging solutions for clinical trials are largely focused on patient compliance and engagement. Sometimes, during a clinical trial, enrolled patients typically need to maintain records that document their drug administration. Many don’t take the time to do that real-time and, as a result, their data is subject to error. Smart packaging aims to avoid such errors by notifying the patients to take the medicine on time and recording the exact time that the medicine was consumed.

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Industrial packaging

Using Smart Packaging to Tackle Business Challenges – How the Market Leaders Are Doing it

Smart packaging is still evolving, but we cannot completely ignore its importance. Agile businesses are looking at packaging as a possible holistic solution to transform the way they deliver, sell, and use products. Innovative smart packaging applications are being embraced by market leaders across industries who are trying to leverage the benefits of smart packaging solutions to enhance their operations and at the same time provide an unparalleled customer experience. In this blog, experts at Infiniti explore how top companies are using smart packaging to overcome some key business issues.

Our analysis of the packaging space suggests that the different applications are arriving in waves. Is your business prepared for such transformations? Request a free proposal to know how we can help you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in your industry.

How businesses can benefit from smart packaging

smart packagingInventory and lifecycle management

Smart packaging can provide solutions to common supply chain challenges including sourcing raw materials from suppliers, managing the supply chain, and delivering products to the final customer. With smart packaging solutions, companies can gain real-time ability to track and trace the exact product location in the production and distribution cycle. It also offers benefits including agility, quality and safety, and sustainability.

Protection against internal and external threats

Packaging of a product often acts as a valuable layer of defense against both internal and external threats affecting the product integrity. In the food retail industry alone close to 30% of food products are known to be discarded due to spoilage. Smart packaging can help avoid such counterfeits and combat excessive losses for companies. By using advanced technologies such as blockchain, brands can create a secure, unalterable record of a product’s origin as well as the path to market.

Smart packaging offers significant opportunities and a real risk of disruption. Get in touch with our experts to know more about our solutions for more insights on what your business needs to know before implementing smart packaging solutions.

Enhance user experience

Using packaging, brands can enhance user satisfaction by making the use of the product more engaging, efficient, or informative, as well as by providing valuable consumer insights to brand owners and retailers. Companies can earn greater brand loyalty by using innovations in smart packaging to lure more customers. For instance, some brands are even using technologies such as AR-based apps to transform the customer experience through packaging.

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us market entry strategy

Why It’s Time to Rethink Your Packaging Strategy and How to Do It Right

As hundreds of new products make their entry into retail shelves every year, it is critical for brands to revamp their packaging strategy in order to stand out in the market. Furthermore, changing consumer demand, social movements, increasing regulatory compliance, and economic challenges have brought the need for better packaging initiatives to the forefront. Businesses must rely on packaging strategy solutions that are ongoing, periodically evaluated, and continuously improved. Moreover, modern brands have also realized the importance of packaging strategies in marketing a product. The packaging design can play a vital role in the customers’ buying decision. Customers are placing equal importance on both the quality of the packaging design and the functional aspect of the product.

Packaging strategy solutions experts at Infiniti Research explain some of the key reasons why businesses must consider a product packaging redesign.

Outdated product packaging design

Trends in the packaging industry are constantly changing. In the 90s, skeuomorphic designs that made products resemble their real-world counterparts were popular. Most of the product packaging designs during that era also featured bright colors and a large number of design elements. However, today most companies are adopting a packaging strategy that is aligned with a minimalist approach which incorporates a significantly lower amount of design elements. If your current packaging strategy is outdated from what your counterparts in the market are offering, it definitely needs an upgrade.

Here’s a chance to hone your packaging strategy! Request a free proposal to know how our experts can help you formulate better packaging strategies that will enhance your bottom line.

Innovation in product formula

It is common for companies to explore new product innovations and formulas over time. With the introduction of new ingredients or technology, the brand’s packaging strategy will have to adapt to meet these new functionalities and specifications. Moreover, this also acts as a good opportunity for brands for marketing the improvements in their product formula.

Company rebranding

Rebranding has become a common business trend lately. Mostly legacy brands who have been in business for decades tend to change to a more contemporary branding to reflect the modern times. Some even make changes to their logos and visuals in order to reflect a change in direction. Formulating a new packaging strategy under such circumstances are important to ensure that the design is consistent with the brand’s new aesthetic.

Dynamic market changes make staying updated with the latest market trends challenging. By partnering with our industry experts, you can stay updated on the latest trends and other market updates for your industry. Request a free brochure for more insights on our services.

Public relations crisis

Even the best of brands have experienced a public relations crisis at some point. As today we live in a digitally connected world, negative publicity can spread like wildfire on social media channels, proving fatal for the brand image and reputation. In case companies go through such a crisis, they must rethink their packaging strategy for two primary reasons. Firstly, it shows that the brand is moving away from the bad publicity that it has received. Secondly, it creates an impression that the brand is actively trying to improve its brand image, starting with the design.

Technological advancements

Incorporating modern technology as a part of your new packaging strategy can not only result in efficient product packaging and design strategy but also helps identify innovative designs that you may be missing out on. For instance, brands use several new visual elements in packaging to attract customers including embossing, debossing, foil stamping, or even a spot UV that highlights a part of the packaging design.

Steps to create an effective packaging strategy

Packaging strategy

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European food packaging

Unwrapping Packaging Industry Market Innovations and Updates 2019

The global packaging industry is booming with rising demands especially from growing economies at an annual rate of over 5%. Furthermore, factors including the growing urbanization, development of retail chains, investment in housing and construction, and the burgeoning healthcare and cosmetics sectors especially in BRIC nations are driving sales growth for the global packaging industry. Over the years, customer expectations from packaging industry (especially food packaging) have drastically evolved. They now expect packaging to comprise of three key qualities: convenience, ease of use, and ease of transportation. With a steady increase in competition as well as opportunities to improve offerings, the vendor landscape in the global packaging market is poised to experience steady growth over the next five years.

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Packaging industry trends and market updates 2019

Packaging industry

The article below scans the category for the packaging industry in its entirety to help vendors in this sector understand and stay abreast of the latest news, innovations, and market developments.

Packaging industry moves to more customized options

Owing to the busy lifestyle today, consumers will continue to crave convenience. This could result in a new level of customization, taking not only personalization of the product but even the packaging industry as a whole to new heights. With the breakthroughs in technology, printing, and data collection, we can soon expect highly personalized and localized packaging formats. Furthermore, the rising concerns relating to global challenges such as shortage of food and water demands the needs to reduce problems such as food waste. Protective packaging will play a major role in making food safer and more accessible. This will also help serve the need to keep food items fresh for longer during transportation to long distances. The demand for greater protection coupled with the demand for greater sustainability will be met with a highly protective packaging that is also more environmentally-friendly, lighter and more suitable for transport.

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Nanotechnology in packaging industry

Vendors in the sector are exploring opportunities for packaging in marketing their products better. Technologies such as NFC, RFID, and LED solutions are expected to offer consumers a new level of interaction, information, and entertainment. Furthermore, the use of nanotechnology in packaging industry could provide better protection against air and light, improving the shelf-life of products. Nanotechnology in packaging industry could also help promote active packaging. This involves using materials that actually interact with the products’ content, fighting microbes, and thereby reducing the risk of foodborne diseases.

Growth of flexible packaging market in GCC

Flexible packaging includes materials such as bags, pouches, plastic, film, aluminum foil, metalized or coated paper or film, or any combination of these materials that is easy yielding and has no rigid structure. Flexible packaging is currently the fastest growing segment in the global packaging industry and is used in consumer as well as industrial packaging. Currently, the flexible packaging market is observed to be exhibiting strong growth in the GCC region. This growth is driven largely by continuous development in sectors including food, retail, consumer goods, and pharmaceuticals. Moreover, the increase in personal disposable income and the growth in retail and consumer goods market further add to the growth of the packaging industry in GCC economies.

Foodservice packaging is growing despite challenges

Nearly two-thirds of manufacturers in the foodservice packaging segment of packaging industry are experiencing rapid growth in volume. These manufacturers also gained a surge in sales. Due to the increased number of fast-casual options, quality food offerings, and value to their customers, this segment of the packaging industry is expected to expand in the next few years despite several challenges including environmental concerns and government regulation taking the center stage. Supermarkets/grocery stores and delivery services are also noted as opportunities for market expansion of the foodservice packaging because of the popularity of being able to grab products on the go or have them delivered.

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IR17

Top Smart Packaging Companies in the World

“We’re moving towards a world where everything is smart, internet-connected, trackable, and linked to everything else” – Caspar Thykier

 

TOP SMART PACKAGING COMPANIES

A decade ago, video wristwatches, self-driving cars, and smart milk cartons that order another liter of low-fat milk when their contents go out of date would have been nothing less than a sci-fi fueled vision. Today, the video wristwatch is here, and the self-driving car will soon be here. But as for the milk cartons, the implementation of smart packaging is still somewhat more marginal, for now at least. Smart packaging offers a number of extra functionalities in addition to the traditional three functions of packaging products (protection, containment, and communication). With changing lifestyles and consumers being more demanding, intelligent, and smart, packaging is more focused on several consumer benefits such as food quality, safety, freshness, and information rather than the specific retailer and manufacturer-driven benefits. And with this ground-breaking technology, the packaging industry can work wonders in the future. Here’s a look at the top smart packaging companies frRequest Free Proposalom around the world and what they are up to in terms of revamping packaging:

Blippar

Blippar, which is based out of the UK, was founded in the year 2011. Blippar is the first markerless image-recognition platform for smartphones designed to convert real-world brands and products into digital experiences instantly. They allow shoppers to check the quality and origins of their food by merely scanning an item with the Blippar app. By scanning the products, shoppers can also access quality certificates, test results, location details, and images of the relevant farm, as well as nutritional information. This provides full supply-chain transparency from farm to fork.

Rover

Founded in 2014, Rover is headquartered in Canada. Rover’s platform enhances retailers’ mobile apps through contextual relevance. By leveraging the micro-location abilities of iBeacons, the platform understands when a shopper enters a store and which products they are looking at. An app enhanced with the Rover platform can engage shoppers at the time it matters most, simultaneously delivering relevant information throughout their shopping experience.

Insignia Technologies

Insignia Technologies is a Scotish firm that was founded in the year 2012. The company’s main product focus is on smart packaging for the food packaging industry. The color-changing indicator that the company uses on its packaging warns when the food starts to spoil by undergoing a dramatic and distinct color change. The patented smart pigments can be easily incorporated into plastic food packaging, creating color changing plastic films that will help minimize food wastage and ensure consumers know when food is fit for consumption.

Water.IO

Water.io was founded in the year 2015. The company invents, patents, designs, and manufactures IoT smart-Packaging solutions for beverage, food, home, pharma, and beauty industries. Water.IO can transform any bottle into a smart container, including those used for beverages, prescription drugs, household cleaners, and more.

RePack

Repack is a company that is based out of Finland. It was founded in the year 2013. The company provides smart packaging solutions wherein the online retailers and shoppers conveniently and easily return delivery packages, which can then be reused. Currently, the company’s services are widely being used by retailers and shoppers in Finland. RePack users can return their packaging via the local postal system and get an automatic refund on their deposit.



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IR36

5 Benefits Brands Can Gain from Smart Packaging

The smart packaging industry is estimated to reach nearly $40 billion by 2020.Thanks to modern companies looking for innovative and sustainable packaging, the demand in the smart packaging market is on the rise. Smart packaging involves a combination of specialized materials, science, and technology, and has the power to reduce food waste, enhance the shelf life of products, reduce loss, damage, waste, and cost in the supply chain. In the pharma industry, it can improve patient compliance and security, as well as help, improve anti-counterfeiting measures. The combination of several tools like brand protection, safety, convenience, and conveying product information, makes smart packaging a powerful tool in the packaging industry. It also has the potential to make a significant contribution towards enhancing the reach of a brand. Here are five ways in which smart packaging benefits companies:Request Free Proposal

Stay relevant

Smart packaging means improved customer interface. Tech-savvy customers use newer forms of media or technology platforms. When brands engage on these platforms, they stand a higher chance of staying relevant in the consumer’s life. Also, it gives the opportunity for companies to connect with their existing as well as potential customers. Brands which do not project themselves as technologically advanced often fail to grab customer attention and also end up being labeled as outdated.

Empowering customers

The smart codes that are embedded on to packages compile more information. This helps consumers in making informed purchase decisions. Additionally, manufacturers can supply information on sourcing, nutritional values, dietary concerns, etc. to the consumer through a QR (Quick Response) code. Advanced technologies in the packaging industry such as RFID (radio-frequency identification), NFC (near-field communication), and smart labels will further empower customers and help brands maintain a loyal customer base in the long run.

Quality control

One of the significant concerns of brands is to enhance the shelf-life of their products.  Smart packaging calibrates itself in accordance with the ambiance outside and inside the package. A popular example is that of color changing plastic that can detect food spoilage and communicate the same to the retailers and consumers. Also, Time Temperature Indicator Plastics help in detecting the loss of quality of the products packed.  Food labels that indicate the state of quality/freshness of the packaged products are the fast-movers from the retail shelves.

 Tracking products

 Several top organizations are leveraging intelligent packaging systems to track products in the supply chain. Smart packaging has made monitoring the quality and detecting loss of quality of the products packed a much simpler process. From tracking supply chains to monitoring customer behavior, smart packaging has now made it possible for the brands to connect, capture, monitor and receive business intelligence.

Increased sustainability

Smart packaging helps reduce the impact of packaging on the environment, opening more sustainable packaging options for brands. Furthermore, it has proven to be economical and cost-effective, giving companies a competitive edge by reduction at source and thereby leaving reduced carbon footprints.


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IR14

Top 5 Exhibits of Green Packaging Applications

Packaging is a crucial aspect of the product which not only protects it against external threats but also serves as an influencer to induce customers to make the purchase. However, the packaging industry has recently come under heavy criticism because of its wasteful nature. Almost all packaging, including primary and secondary packaging, is discarded by the user once the product is consumed. Such acts create a massive amount of wastage, which then end up in oceans and landfills. Some of those materials are not recyclable and end up harming the marine life. For instance, numerous breed of small fish choke on tiny plastic microbeads, increasing the mortality rate and disturbing the balance of marine ecology. As a result, companies are focusing on green packaging applications by using biodegradable materials, sustainable packaging, and ecological packaging. Here are some of the notable brands that IR_Brochurehave skillfully executed green packaging expressing their concerns towards saving the environment.

PUMA’s clever little bag

In association with fuseproject, PUMA created a game-changing packaging system that would significantly reduce their carbon footprint and the use of cardboards for shoe packaging. The packaging replaces traditional shoe boxes with a recyclable cardboard box covered by a reusable bag. The company claims that it has helped them reduce water, energy, and fuel consumption by more than 60% each year. Additionally, it has also reduced the requirement of paper and cardboard materials by about 65%, making it easier to transport. The green packaging also benefits the customer as they can reuse the bag again for shopping or storage purpose.

Edible coffee cups from KFC

‘Scoff-ee Cup,’ an edible coffee cup from KFC, is the first of its kind in the UK. The cup is made from biscuit, wrapped in sugar paper, which is then lined with a layer of heat-resistant white chocolate to ensure the coffee stays hot. The best part of the packaging is that the chocolate lining melts over time, making the biscuits softer. This green packaging innovation just augments the experience of consuming coffee with cookies, a perfect way to kickstart the day. If that was not enough, the company has infused the cups with aromas including coconut sun cream, wildflowers, and freshly cut grass. The outer wrapper is also edible and branded with KFC’s logo, making it look like a regular coffee cup.

Naturally Clicquot 2

In a bid to create eco-friendly green packaging the Veuve Clicquot devised a packaging for its product line of champagnes. After redesigning the previous version of Naturally Clicquot, the company has come up with Naturally Clicquot 2, which consists of two parts that fit into each other with the bottle clamped between them. The packaging also won the 2015th edition of The Dieline Awards. The pack, which is made from ecological and compostable material PaperFoam, can be recycled as paper and also keeps the bottle contained cool for two hours.

Nike Air packaging

The Nike Airmax is seen as a shoe that provides extreme levels of comfort in a relatively light air-like weight. However, Nike has taken the positioning to the level of packaging as well by replacing cardboard boxes with lightweight clear plastic bubble cushioned in an air bubble. Although it uses plastic as the packaging materials, it significantly cuts down on the overall material requirement and paper materials, thereby contributing to sustainability.

360 paper bottle

The 360 paper bottle is a single serve bottle made out of 100% renewable materials, which eliminate the need for a plastic bottle. This green packaging, which is manufactured by Paper Water Bottle, a pulp packaging company, reduces the energy required to produce the water bottle by about 2000 times. The bottle is made from bamboo and features a lid which peels off into two halves. The bottle is designed in such a way that it allows for self-bundling eliminating the need for packing in a six pack thereby reducing the transportation cost as well. 

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IR23

Top Trends in the Industrial Packaging Market

Industrial packaging widely differs from consumer packaging in terms of shape, size, and functionality. The global industrial packaging market is a multi-billion-dollar market, driven by key industries such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lubricants, food and beverages, and construction industries. Industrial packaging often includes packaging to protect large parts or machinery, big cartons, corrugated boxes, plastic or fiber drums, protective films, wooden boxes, and specialized pallets. Industrial packaging functions as a protective barrier, controls release ofIR_Brochure hazardous materials, and provides information of content inside. It is essential that industrial packaging material be as lightweight as possible because any additional weight will add to the shipping, moving, and transportation costs.

Trends in the industrial packaging market

Recycling

A majority of the manufacturing companies generate huge amounts of toxic and non-toxic waste. A significant part of such waste is composed of packaging waste. Such packaging waste can be easily avoided by using materials that are biodegradable or recyclable. Numerous legislations have called for increasing the 3Rs principle – reduce, reuse, and recycle in the industrial packaging market. Reusing the packaging material prolongs not only the product lifecycle but also decreases the overall packaging cost. Many industrial packaging items such as wooden boxes, fiber drums, and specialized pallets can easily be reused. Also, the recycling trend has been on the rise mostly in the steel industry, as many studies have proven the process to have a minimal environmental impact. The metal packaging industry is also increasing its effort to recycle the packaging material as metals can maintain strength through successive stages of recycling.

Optimal pack shape

The shape of the pack also plays a crucial role in determining the total logistics and distribution cost, as most freight companies calculate the shipping cost based on volumetric weight. Optimizing the pack shape to occupy minimal shape can save considerable costs in the volumetric weight calculation process. For instance, manufacturers are favoring the cubic shape instead of the cylindrical shape of steel or plastic drum due to savings in space. Also, rectangular-shaped rigid IBCs enables the containers to be packed closely together leaving fewer gaps and increasing the total amount of cargo that can be transported in a single trip.

Downgauging

Players in the industrial packaging market have been increasing their sustainability efforts to focus on downgauging or material reduction. Research teams have been continually improving the packaging performance despite using fewer materials. For instance, engineers have been able to reduce the overall weight of a plastic drum by about 70% compared to 1970s. Engineers have also been able to replicate similar weight reductions in steel drums. Also, advancements in technology have reduced the average weight of multiwall paper sacks used in construction industry without sacrificing performance or strength. Such act reduces the transportation and logistics cost and eases material handling as well.

Safety

The players in the industrial packaging market are continually struggling to maintain a balance between controlling packaging waste and creating packaging material that provide the required strength and performance. Such decision making becomes even more critical when they are dealing with hazardous materials. To ensure minimal waste, international bodies such as the United Nations are taking the matter into their own hands by publishing an Orange book on the transport of dangerous goods.

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Top 3 Technologies Disrupting the Smart Packaging Solutions Sector

In recent times, packaging has evolved from being a protective barrier for a product to a tool for marketing communications. With constant innovation in technology, packaging is expected to be much more than a protective barrier or a marketing tool. Manufacturers have been focusing on using advanced technologies to provide enhanced functionality – a term known as smart packaging. Smart packaging solutions can be utilized either as an active packaging, providing functionality such as moisture and oxygen control, or intelligent packaging, which indicates status or communicates product changes along with other information. Smart packaging solutions have the potential to positively change the way consumers interact with the product and simplify things.

Here are some of the trends in the smart packaging industry:IR_Brochure

Smart Labels and IoT integration
Smart labels eliminate the need for embedding costly sensors to the product to track vital information regarding location, temperature, movement, and moisture. For instance, a company called ThinFilm has created printed electronics that can be attached to any products to provide real-time information so that the company can check product’s freshness and prevent spoilage.

Augmented Reality in Smart Packaging Solutions
The game Pokémon GO gave much-needed acknowledgment to the augmented reality technology. Much like discovering Pokémon in a real-life map, AR technologies can project vital product information like item tag, order status, stock levels, and delivery destination with the help of an HUD display or a smartphone.

OLED Flexible Display Technology in Smart Packaging Solutions
Although this technology seems too futuristic to be used in the packaging sector, companies are making significant efforts to build prototypes that can incorporate flexible energy efficient display in packaging. A pioneer in this field, VTT Technologies of Finland, is investing heavily in its OLED technology to enable a lean and agile production of custom size and shaped display and signage elements at a meager cost. Such a technology has the potential to create products with interactive packaging and illumination that can attract customers in a retail store.

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