There’s no doubt about it, times are a-changing. Emerging consumers – the digital natives who speak the language of computers, videos, games and social media – expect brands to offer new experiences. As the Internet creates a behaviour economy, packaging needs to play its part too and become more experiential.
Connected consumers are informed and are looking for solutions-based or functional, hard-working packaging that wows at point of sale. In other words, packaging that makes a statement – whether emotional, practical, rational or irrational – and fills a need in consumers’ lives.
So, who are connected consumers? We all are. We walk around with computers (our smart phones) in our bags or back pockets, enabling us to be interconnected – a community. And today’s emerging consumers want to be part of a community. They have different expectations of privacy, they expect brands to demonstrate social responsibility, they’re willing to pay for exclusive experiences, they want to be entertained, and they want to collaborate and be recognised.
To do this, brands are responding to more demand for active and intelligent packaging. According to Freedonia, the US active and intelligent packaging market is forecast to expand by 7.3% annually to $4.0 billion in 2019, well above the packaging industry average. Active packaging provides functions beyond product protection and identification, such as moisture control. On the other hand, intelligent packaging incorporates features that indicate status or communicate product changes and other information. While many active and intelligent packaging products, such as packaged desiccants and volatile corrosion inhibitors, have a well-established presence, emerging products include antimicrobial packaging, advanced time-temperature monitors, and smartphone-enabled interactive packaging products.
Intelligent packaging demand will see the fastest growth in the US, advancing at a double-digit rate to reach $1.5 billion in 2019 as products such as time-temperature indicators and smart labels and tags become more common. Rapid adoption of tracking-enabled or interactive packaging components will be driven by recent legislation in the pharmaceutical and food markets that requires producers to take steps to make products safer and easier to recall.
Statistics from PwC also reveal that digital channels have opened up a new world of unprecedented choices for consumers where traditional marketing practices no longer apply. The expectation of companies and communities to go digital is continually increasing. While new organisations will embrace the concept of the digital era, established ones will need to think about how to transform their businesses, and particularly how they will market, sell, produce and deliver their products and services in the future.
Pyrotec PackMedia is an innovative and forward-thinking brand that understands the need for brands to connect more effectively with consumers. To help products make a statement at point of sale, Pyrotec PackMedia offers an array of solutions that demonstrate social responsibility, offer exclusive experiences through customisation and targeted communication, and that entertain consumers and provide the opportunity for collaboration.