Connected Packaging Outlook Bright for 2024

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Creative technology studio Appetite Creative, in partnership with Domino Printing Sciences (Domino), today released results from its third annual connected packaging survey. The research found sustained interest over the last 12 months, with 82% of those surveyed stating they have used connected packaging, compared to over four-fifths (81%) from the survey released in 2023, and over half (54%) in 2022.

The barriers to using connected packaging have changed year-on-year with technology knowhow missing (15%), unsure how to handle the data (15%), poor application knowledge (12%) and lack of readiness (12%) listed as the key concerns. Only 9% stated that connected packaging wasn’t a business requirement for this year, showing fluctuating business priorities when compared to 7% in the 2023 survey and a third (29%) in 2022 of respondents claiming the same.

Connected packaging is considered important to inform product and marketing decisions (16%), alongside direct interaction with customers (15%), data collection (15%) and educating customers (13%). Connected packaging being an environmentally sustainable way to connect with and educate customers lagged behind at 11%.

Increased investment in digital marketing spend is up year-on-year to 96%, compared to 88% in 2023 vs. 59% in 2022. The number of respondents who plan to spend on connected packaging campaigns dropped slightly, with over a third (33%) planning to spend between $15,000 to $30,000 this year. A quarter (25%) plans to spend $31,000 to $50,000, down by 17% points year-on-year (previously 42%).

A large majority (88%) claim to be planning a connected packaging campaign this year. With 80% of respondents citing that connected packaging will be increasingly important to the packaging industry in the next 12 months and beyond, a drop of 12% points year-on-year (previously 92%).

Looking to the year ahead, connected packaging is deemed increasingly important by respondents to provide access to valuable data and insights (11%), encourage customer loyalty (10%), offer an environmentally sustainable way to connect with and educate customers (10%), communicate directly with customers (10%) and utilise gamification a valuable way to engage with younger audiences (10%). As well as sharing product and recycling information (8%) and legislation changes (8%) all likely to impact the industry this year.

Over three quarters (78%) agree that connected packaging helps to improve the sustainability credentials of a company, a drop year-on-year from 91% in 2023 and 80% in 2022.

“We’re seeing an overall desire to increase investment in digital advertising this year and a stable investment in connected packaging. It’s great to see the perceived value of data collection through connected packaging rising, especially in the context of the imminent demise of third-party cookie data. It’s also interesting to see sustainability drop down the agenda despite new government-led regulations. We will continue to watch these trends closely and offer, what we consider to be, high value rewards to clients delivered via connected packaging,” said Jenny Stanley, Managing Director at Appetite Creative.

“At Domino, we’re seeing increased interest from customers about the uses and benefits of deploying connected experiences via product packaging, especially across the circular economy, for medical equipment instructions, and FMCG stock management. Demand is likely to rise with more packaging legislation expected,” said Craig Stobie, Director Global Strategic Sectors at Domino.

Appetite Creative is hosting an online webinar today at 10:30am CET to take a deeper dive into the research results, alongside a panel of experts from AIPIA, Domino, Tetra Pak, and Amazon. Click here for information.