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Smart packaging & manufacturing solutions in Asia
Saturday, 27 May, 2023, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Smart packaging uses proprietary barcode, QR code or RFID technology to instantly track the exact location of a product within the supply chain for transparency. These features enable future planning and more efficient inventory management.

Food will generate the greatest demand for smart packaging, followed by healthcare and beverages. Smart food packaging helps businesses reduce food waste. The food, beverage and healthcare industries are now increasingly using innovative packaging solutions. The global smart packaging market size was $22,257.6 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $38,662 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2021 to 2030.

Smart packaging is a kind of machine that improves the efficiency and performance of the engine. Smart packaging is a packaging system that utilises sensor technology for various products such as pharmaceuticals and food. Smart packaging systems help improve product quality, extend shelf life, monitor freshness, and improve customer and product safety. These intelligent systems provide information on the quality and freshness of products packaged by intelligent packaging systems.

However, the cost of sensors and radio frequency identification (RFID) used in packaging applications makes better packaging more expensive than standard packaging, leading to failure of mass packaging systems. It also leads to the collection of customer data, which the manufacturers say could lead to manipulative and contradictory situations that limit the market in the future.

Additionally, the construction, manufacturing, hotel and tourism industries have been particularly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Production activity has been suspended or restricted. Construction and transportation activities and their supply chains are disrupted around the world. This has reduced smart packaging manufacturing and market demand, leading to a slowdown in smart packaging market growth. On the contrary, the industry gradually resumed normal production and service operations.

This has allowed smart packaging companies to regain full production capacity and contribute to the market recovery in the second half of 2021.

Various Smart Packaging Systems are as follows:
Active packaging : Active packaging utilises a variety of advanced materials to provide features such as thermochromism, temperature, humidity and even microbial control. This helps  improve the shelf life of the product and the quality of the contents during storage.

Intelligent Packaging: Intelligent packaging offers an additional benefit that goes beyond mere packaging, which is communication. It involves indicators and sensors placed inside or outside the packaging that diagnose product conditions, providing information about its status. This would include temperature, storage time, tightness, and freshness, among others.  

One example would include that food packaging may change colour to indicate an interruption in the cold chain, salmonella contamination, or leaky packaging. Intelligent packaging offers an additional benefit beyond just packaging: communication. These are indicators and sensors placed inside or outside the packaging that diagnose the condition of the product and provide information about its condition. These include temperature, storage time, airtightness and freshness. An example is a food package changing colour to indicate a cold chain break, salmonella contamination, or a leaking package.

Design-led packaging: Design-led packaging is a type of packaging design that enriches the function and form of a product, supports its value perception,and enhances the user experience.

Connected packaging: This will enable brands to engage with consumers through packaging that integrates technologies such as tags, QR codes, and sensors that can generate and collect data from third parties to better understand consumer behaviour, thereby enabling campaigns can be optimised. Connected packaging enables brands to add real value to their users 'lives by turning packaging into an interactive brand tool, creating meaningful and long-lasting experiences for users.

In the smart packaging market, Asia-Pacific will hold a dominant position in 2020, with LAME A projected to register the highest growth during the forecast period. The food and beverage segment is dominant and has the largest market revenue share.

Based on end-users, the smart packaging market is segmented into food and beverage, healthcare, automotive, personal care, and others. The food and beverage segment dominated with the largest market revenue share of 34% in 2022 and is expected to continue to do so during the forecast period. Smart food and beverage packaging helps monitor the condition of packaged food and the food environment. Due to lifestyle changes and people's increasing interest in food safety, the need for smart packaging in food packaging is increasing.

Asia-Pacific is gaining ground due to increased consumption of freshly packaged groceries and the emergence of online shopping channels. Asia-Pacific dominated the market, reaching the largest market share at 33% in 2022. Market growth in the Asia-Pacific region is driven by increasing demand from manufacturing industries in emerging markets such as China, Japan, and India.

Growing demand for ready-to-eat meals and increasing consumption of dairy products in the Asia-Pacific region are driving the growth of the global market. Increasing trend of consumption of freshly packaged food is also driving the market growth. The prevalence of smartphones and the emergence of online shopping channels  have increased the demand for smart packaging in the e-commerce industry.

In terms of market value for protective packaging, Asia-Pacific and North America will be the largest markets going forward, owing to increasing demand from the e-commerce sector for protecting shipped goods. Growth will be driven by increased consumer spending, technological advancements and improved manufacturing activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Due to the presence of highly populated economies like India and China, e-commerce is expected to grow. Some 39.1% of global sales in 2021 occurred in the Asia-Pacific region. North America is expected to grow by 5.9% from 2023 to 2032. Growth in North America will be influenced by several factors, including urbanisation and a growing middle class.  

As for biodegradable packaging, Asia-Pacific leads the market and is expected to hold the largest share during the forecast period. Increased population density is also one of the factors that made it convenient as a food and drink. In addition, developing countries such as India, China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to increase biodegradable packaging due to increasing industrial approaches and increasing population in regional markets, which will lead to demand for packaging materials.

Key Market Drivers
  • The changing lifestyle of customers
  • Exploration of nanotechnology
  • The developments in the printing processes
Key Market Challenges
  • Cost of capital
  • The lack of awareness
  • Incorporating expensive technologies
Key Market Opportunities
  • Intelligent packaging in healthcare industry
  • Lucrative market
  • Demand for temperature controlled packaging solutions
(The author is assistant professor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, KSR College of Arts and Science for Women, Tiruchengode, Namakkal. She can be reached
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