The proliferation of active and intelligent packaging, especially in the food and beverage sectors, is accelerating rapidly.
Andrew Manly, AIPIA communications director, told FoodProductionDaily market figures from nearly every intelligence outfit points toward strong, sustained growth in active and smart intelligent packaging demand. This can be attributed toward the surge in available, viable technologies.
“Brand owners want to see a return on investment,” he said. “We are at a stage where many active and intelligent packaging exponents can deliver strong cases for how these technologies are already working and delivering results.”
Manly pointed toward a horde of recent market reports, which show confidence in active packaging’s future. Freedonia Group predicts US demand will climb 8% each year to hit $3.5bn 2017, outpacing total packaging demand growth.
McKinsey’s Disruptive Technologies Report laid out a concept “the Internet of Things,” a disruptive technology trend connecting billions of products, packages and sensors (including RFID and other smart packaging technologies). International Data Corp. estimates revenues from technology and services related to the Internet of Things will grow 8.8% annually to $7.3 trillion by 2017.
Further, technology companies are showing confidence in the market. Xerox estimates the global market for flexible, printed, and organic electronics for products, packaging, and sensors will hit $45bn by 2016, and Cisco CEO John Chambers believes that the "Internet-of-Everything" is poised to evolve into a $19 trillion market with 5X to 10X the impact on society as the Internet.
Finally, a market forecast from Smithers Pira holds that printed electronics used in food packaging and other applications will surge in demand from approximately $17bn now, to more than $50bn in the next five years. Further, the Smithers Pira report believes the figure could top $190bn by 2025.
Meeting of the minds
AIPIA will be leading the discussion at its AIPIA Congress, scheduled November 2-4 in Chicago (collated with PACK EXPO International). Manley said the healthy growth potential in the market will be a key talking point.
“AIPIA sees this as a process of progression,” he said. “At the first Congress in Tokyo, we talked about the technologies and the ideas behind them; in Nuremburg last year it the conversation was much more about projects and how to get active and intelligent packaging working as a marketing tool, as well as in technical areas.”
At the 2014 meeting, Manly told FPD, the primary focus will be on implementing active/smart packaging technologies, and how it can impact a company’s bottom line.
“When AIPIA first arrived on the scene in 2012 that the timeline for implementation was two to five years and we are only half way through that,” he said. “However, the momentum to adopt some form or other of active and intelligent packaging is very strong now and we expect a very dynamic Congress.”
Manly said the AIPIA expects to attract food and packaging players from significant, multinational companies.
“Because the Congress is the only event which focuses on all the different aspects of active and intelligent packaging, it is the only place to get an overview of the entire market and how the various technologies might interact with each other,” he said. “We expect it to attract both big companies with multi-disciplined requirements as well as specialists looking at very particular aspects of the market.”
On the table will be technologies like RFID sensing, printed electronics, modified-atmosphere packaging, and others. One way Congress will bring the ideas home to attendees, Manly said, is showing food and packaging professionals how to bring everything together.
“Many companies need to join up the dots and see how one active technology might combine with an intelligent solution, as well as have the opportunity to push the envelope and see where some half-formed ideas might go,” he said. “We saw lights going on all over the room in Nuremburg as delegates began to see the potential of one or more active and intelligent packaging product in a different way.”
While the event is still getting the finishing touches put on it, Manly said attendees should expect the AIPIA Congress to be a dynamic business-builder.
“It’s a chance to meet some very powerful decision makers, and get a complete, up-to-date picture,” he said. “What could be better than that?”