In our in-person PDIT Conferences in Mumbai in 2019 at the Goregaon Expo Center, and again in Delhi in 2020 at Pragati Maidan, we took up both Active and Intelligent Packaging and Sustainability. Andrew Manly of AIPIA Amsterdam and Roland Lartigue of Toppan came to the Delhi event. It was an interesting event with brand owners such as Nestle, Cadbury, and Mother Dairy taking part as well as leading label, in-mold, board, and flexible packaging converters including UFlex and SB Packaging. Suppliers of sustainable packaging and label solutions made brief presentations with several being recognized with awards.
In mid-March 2021, the full-day Smart Packaging for South Asia virtual event was organized and held jointly with the AIPIA. Although just preceding the Covid-19 pandemic and the first lockdown, it was a success in terms of sponsors and almost 200 participants, and above all the interest from brand owners in India and South Asia.
Listening to the speakers and discussions at recent live events in Delhi and Mumbai reveals the relevance of Active and Intelligent Packaging and Smart Sustainability. Anti-counterfeiting is a major concern amongst brands and the leading packaging companies (or early adopters) are taking the February 2022 government regulations on plastic waste management and Extended User Responsibility seriously.
One takeaway from the recent anti-counterfeiting discussions is that few customers or consumers actually scan QR codes! However, companies that see technology as the solution for the entire supply chain, such as ITC Foods, are actively promoting customer interaction and engagement through well-produced videos!
Clearly, brands need to do more to use smart packaging and labels connected to cloud technology to engender and enhance customer engagement. They need to think beyond just anti-counterfeiting and have their packaging take the next steps to condition monitoring throughout the supply chain including customer engagement right to putting the used packaging in the right waste stream. Consumers will scan QR codes when they receive something of interest for this activity – from origin stories, recipes, and entertainment – to calls to action for sustainability. Case studies of some of the Indian successes will be presented at PACK.Nxt in Mumbai.
Brand owner panelists and speakers from our conferences are outspoken about the smart packaging projects they have implemented or working on including at least one that employs smart packaging for sustainable waste collection and recycling. Clearly, the brand owners in India are receptive and actively looking for new ideas to make their packaging smarter and more engaging for the customer. Our conferences are compelling calls to action!
At a recent event, we saw the Wiliot technology video that remarkably relies on battery-less tags and ambient energy and transmitters to send several kinds of information including condition monitoring information to the cloud where it’s processed using an Artificial Intelligence engine. This technology won the Active and Intelligent category prize at the recent AIPIA Congress and Sustainability Summit in Amsterdam.
Such technologies can be an impetus for delivering our enormous production of fruit and vegetables in good condition to consumers instead of being wasted. Technology is needed to reduce food wastage on the farm side, besides saving in land, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, logistics, and labor. If we can stop food waste, we can alleviate 10% of the climate change that the supply chain causes from farm to fork.
Time to get on board – The Future is Now!
The PACK.Nxt Conference in Mumbai is coming along well with practically all the leading global and Indian brand owners in eCommerce, Retail, FMCG, alcobev, and pharma already signing up for their presence as both speakers and participants. The sustainability side of the PACK.Nxt conference is also strong with the presence of the pioneering Indian recycler and other experts in the field. One session will demystify the waste management rules and Extended User Responsibility compliance, and another will present actual solutions and case studies in the redesign of circular packaging structures.
Please come ready for lively and informed discussion and interaction at PACK.Nxt. Although to some, our topics sound futuristic, a recent eMailer to brand owners suggests, that they are not! As was heard at the recent drupa promotion conferences, ‘The Future is Now.’ It’s been a while since we had. Why not take the opportunity at your doorstep to be a part of some relevant and sensible technology discussion with take-home and actionable value?
At the PACK.Nxt Conference in Mumbai at the Lalit Hotel on 18 January, leading brand owners and technology suppliers will discuss Brand Protection, Authentication, Supply Chain Tracking, Customer Engagement, the Extended User Responsibility Regulations, and Sustainable and Recyclable Packaging Structures. For more information and registration click here. Start the new year with a fresh agenda for action. See you on 18 January 2024 at the Lalit Hotel in Mumbai!