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Most Surveyed Brands Yet to Utilize Active and Intelligent Packaging

Most companies are not currently using active or intelligent packaging, but the innovation opportunities they offer may help them gain popularity.

Intelligent packaging features like QR codes can help deliver product information to consumers.
Intelligent packaging features like QR codes can help deliver product information to consumers.
PMMI Business Intelligence, 2022 Meat, Poultry, Seafood & Alternative Proteins: Automation, Expansion, Sanitation.

Active and intelligent packaging is yet to see widespread implementation among brands, but opportunities await in the form of combined intelligent packaging strategies.

That’s according to a survey conducted for PMMI Business Intelligence’s 2022 report “Meat, Poultry, Seafood, and Alternative Proteins: Automation, Expansion, Sanitation.” Most (69%) consumer packaged goods (CPG) respondents do not use such technology.

On the flipside, 31% of respondents currently use active or intelligent packaging. And of those who are not currently using the technology, 20% are considering it for future use.

Popular Uses for Active and Intelligent Packaging

CPGs currently using active or intelligent packaging mostly gravitate toward interactive QR codes.

Engaging the consumer is a top priority with interactive QR codes. “We use QR codes to tell our story on some of our products,” says one process involvement engineer at a large RTE poultry processor.31 PercentPMMI Business Intelligence, 2022 Meat, Poultry, Seafood & Alternative Proteins: Automation, Expansion, Sanitation.

Other brands are using the technology for marketing, as a packaging engineer at a large seafood processor explains, “we use QR codes on our cans and pouches for marketing purposes to obtain coupons.”

Some brands also use color-changing inks to “indicate the freshness of the meat,” says a corporate engineering manager at an SME fresh meat and poultry company.

And though not as popular as other intelligent packaging features, some brands use antimicrobial “emitters” or coatings to help maintain product freshness for longer periods.

Combining Intelligent Packaging Strategies

One of the most important consumer trends in the protein products category is transparent and clean labeling.

Consumers want to know exactly what is in their product, with a preference toward products with recognizable ingredients and smaller overall ingredient counts. They also want to be assured their product is authentic and safe.

Intelligent packaging can address these concerns in a number of novel ways.

For instance, an intelligent feature that changes color as the product ages (by reacting to emitted gasses) is an easy visual cue to consumers signaling the freshness of a product.

This feature can be further enhanced by adding a scannable feature like a QR code to the color-changing package. Brands could link consumers to an explanation of the color code, detailed information on the product’s ingredients and production, and even preparation suggestions.

By combining intelligent features like this, manufacturers can find new ways to provide greater information to their curious consumers.

These features have the additional bonus of being perceived as value-add products by consumers, a trend that is rapidly gaining in popularity as shoppers seek out both enhanced value and functional formats.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence, 2022 Meat, Poultry, Seafood & Alternative Proteins: Automation, Expansion, Sanitation

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