The Rise of Smart Packaging

According to a recent report by Towards Packaging, intelligent packaging holds immense potential for enhancing food safety, reducing waste and improving the overall consumer experience. © Kristina Blokhin –

The Evolution of Packaging in the Digital Era

By Swapna Gawale, a Project Manager with Towards Packaging

Smart packaging, a concept once limited to the realm of science fiction, has now firmly embedded itself in the reality of modern commerce. As businesses across diverse sectors recognized the advantages of smart packaging solutions, the market experienced remarkable growth.

In the dynamic landscape of the global market, innovation is the driving force behind the success of various industries. Among the myriad technological advancements that have reshaped the business world, smart packaging stands out as a remarkable game-changer.

Smart packaging entails strategically integrating advanced technologies, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, sensors, and quick response (QR) codes, within product packaging to drive enhanced business outcomes. This innovative approach empowers manufacturers to actively monitor and trace their products across the

complete supply chain, encompassing production, distribution and end-consumer engagement.

Embracing innovation

By infusing packaging solutions with heightened intelligence, smart packaging enables proactive thinking, seamless communication and interactive capabilities with the packaged product and discerning consumers.

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses are continually seeking innovative ways to enhance their products and connect with consumers. Smart packaging, which integrates technology with traditional packaging materials, is a prime example of such innovation. It empowers brands to share information and engage consumers on a whole new level.

Source: Towards Packaging

The evolution of packaging

In recent years, the role of packaging has undergone significant evolution. Modern consumers are now more informed and discerning, seeking packaging solutions that are not only cost-effective and visually appealing but also assure the product’s authenticity and provide relevant details about the product, freshness and usage instructions.

By 2025, approximately two-thirds of the global population is projected to reside in urban areas. This urbanization trend is driving a significant increase in demand for convenient and value-added food products that adhere to high-quality standards. Meeting these diverse requirements necessitates innovative advancements in the food processing sector and food packaging.

For example, integrating internet of things (IoT) technologies and intelligent packaging holds immense potential for enhancing food safety, reducing waste and improving the overall consumer experience. Intelligent packaging is the vital element that detects and assesses the surrounding conditions within or near the packaging.

Sensors can provide real-time data on the product condition and enable implementation of active measures to maintain product freshness. These advancements also contribute to better supply chain management and more informed consumer decision-making.

Market analysis

The smart packaging market is characterized by intense competition and a diverse range of players offering innovative solutions. Key players in the smart packaging market include 3M, Avery Dennison Corporation, Ball Corporation, BASF SE, Crown International Paper, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, Stora Enso, Sysco Corporation and Zebra Technologies Corp.

For example, Amcor PLC is known for its comprehensive portfolio of intelligent packaging solutions. Avery Dennison Corporation, a prominent provider of labeling and packaging materials, excels in integrating technologies like radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication (NFC) to enable product tracking and authentication. While Thinfilm Electronics ASA excels in printed electronics and NFC-based smart packaging solutions. 3M Company also offers diverse smart packaging solutions, including intelligent labels and adhesives.

Sealed Air Corporation stands out with its comprehensive portfolio of smart packaging solutions, particularly for food, healthcare and industrial applications. In fact, in 2022, Sealed Air’s suite of digital technologies for printing, smart packaging and design revolutionized the landscape of flexible packaging by enabling enhanced connectivity and integration.

During the 2023 Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) World Congress, notable advancements in smart packaging were showcased, including Wiliot’s groundbreaking battery-free internet of things (IoT) pixels utilizing RFID technology. These pixels have the unique capability of self-powering by harvesting ambient radio waves. This innovation marks a significant development in smart packaging, enabling enhanced functionality and sustainability by eliminating the need for traditional power sources like batteries.

Regional growth

Looking ahead, the prospects for the smart packaging industry appear exceptionally bright. In fact, projections indicate that by 2032, the market is poised to reach $68.99 billion. This marks a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% from 2023 to 2032, based on the global smart packaging market valuation estimated at $36.04 billion in 2022.

Based on the research conducted during the covered period, the smart packaging market is projected to experience the most significant growth rate in the Asia-Pacific region. Smart packaging represents the latest breakthrough in the Korean packaging industry, offering technological advancements that enhance consumer interaction and communication with products.

The Korean packaging industry, valued at $30.3 billion annually, surpasses the size of the entire design industry. Its economic impact generates 159,351 jobs, contributing to an impressive annual growth rate of 6.8%, which is higher than the current average growth rate of the economy, according to the Korea Packaging Industry.

About the Author

Swapna Gawale is a Project Manager with Towards Packaging, specializing in research and analysis across various industries. She has a deep passion for knowledge discovery and a commitment to delivering actionable insights, and has collaborated with numerous organizations to help them make informed decisions and drive strategic growth. Towards Packaging is a leading global consulting firm, offering comprehensive insights into market trends, regulations, and emerging packaging technologies. Learn more at

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