Creative technology studio Appetite Creative, in partnership with Domino Printing Sciences, has released results from its third annual connected packaging industry survey.

The research found that 82% of those surveyed have used connected packaging over the past 12 months, compared to more than four-fifths (81%) from the survey released in 2023 and more than half (54%) in 2022.

What can connected packaging do for companies?

Connected packaging was considered important by responders to inform product and marketing decisions (16%), alongside direct interaction with customers (15%), data collection (15%) and educating customers (13%).

An example is Appetite Creative’s collaboration with Tetra Pak in late 2023. It built smart packaging for drinks brand Rauch to offer a web app-based experience leveraged via an on-pack QR code.

Only 11% of responders regarded connected packaging as an environmentally friendly way to connect with and educate customers on sustainability.

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But more than three quarters (78%) agreed that connected packaging helps improve the sustainability credentials of a company – although this figure is a year-on-year reduction, down from 91% in 2023 and 80% in 2022.

Connected packaging in 2024

A large majority (88%) of companies claim to be planning a connected packaging campaign in 2024. 80% of respondents believe 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 from 92%.

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 to engage with younger audiences (10%).

This is alongside sharing product and recycling information (8%) and legislation changes (8%) which are likely to impact the packaging industry in 2024.

Appetite Creative managing director Jenny Stanley commented: “We’re seeing an overall desire to increase investment in digital advertising this year and a stable industry investment in connected packaging.”

Domino director of global strategic sectors Craig Stobie added: “Customers are increasingly interested in the uses and benefits of deploying connected experiences via packaging, especially across the circular economy. Demand is likely to rise with more packaging legislation expected.”