Page 33 - Packaging News Magazine Mar-Apr 2021
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                  March-April 2021 | | ACTIVE & INTELLIGENT
abound. Bayer will leverage Kezzler’s managed SaaS platform to provide supply chain visibility, traceability and enhanced affiliate management. As a market leader in seed supply in the region this service chimes with Bayer’s global a global commitment to protecting sustainable farming.
Kezzler was particularly busy with strategic alliances in 2020 another involving USA-based Trace, a block- chain solution based on Ethereum technology that will provide CBD (hemp) supply chain visibility. Also, at the end of the year it announced a new alliance with Laetus, which will com- bine the former’s cloud-based trace- ability platform with Laetus’s in-line hardware for track & trace and quality control to produce an end-to-end trace- ability and serialisation solution.
Other companies forging partner- ships include Schreiner Medipharm (labelling), Avery Dennison (RFID/ NFC) and PragmatIC (printed elec- tronics), who combined their exper- tise to leverage near field communi- cation (NFC) technology to provide smart packaging to the unit-level for everyday pharma products to improve patient safety and experi- ence, they say. The result is a device not restricted to high-value (or high- risk) products, but available for everyday healthcare.
Mid-year two industry heavy- weights, HP and EVRYTHNG (the product cloud managing digital iden- tities for the world’s consumer prod- ucts) announced a global partnership to enable HP’s printing, packaging and enterprise customers, including CPG brands, to digitise their packag- ing and printed products at scale, enabling enhanced digital capabili- ties across product authentication, end-to-end traceability, consumer engagement and other functions using EVRYTHING’s digital identity platform, they claim.
Customers are now able to use HP’s industrial digital printers to print “born digital” packaging and other items, each of which will be con- nected to the web through an Active Digital Identity (ADI) that is managed in the EVRYTHNG Product Cloud.
In Australia, EVRYTHNG has part- nered with Result Group to accelerate
the digitisation of products in Australia. The partnership aims to help brands deliver on consumer expectations for transparency, authenticity, and person- alised consumer experiences via their packaging.
2020 was not short of landmarks in the smart packaging sector. Most notable among these was the introduction of an RFID tag costing less than $0.03 cents from Talkin’ Things. Based in Poland the company has invested in a new pro- duction facility, incorporating the most modern bonding and converting machines to ensure outstanding quality and high yield, it explains. The ambi- tion is to bring RFID/NFC to mass mar- ket FMCGs and allow the company to introduce an even cheaper tag in future.
For the sector it is proof-positive that smart packaging at scale is entirely possible.”
Scalability and sustainability seemed to drive innovation, even during the pandemic. Dentsu announced that it had rolled out a traceability system for the entire cigarette production in the EU. The system was developed to meet the requirements of the EU Tobacco Product Directive, in force since May 2019, which aims to protect public health via supply-chain traceability.
It tracks every single packet of ciga- rettes in Europe, at the unit or aggre- gated packaging level, for every sin- gle step of the supply chain. The numbers are impressive: 27 billion cigarette packs (per year); 750,000 economic operators; all 27 member states; generating approximately 150 billion records. For the sector it is proof-positive that smart packaging at scale is entirely possible.
Sustainability may have been over- shadowed by COVID-19, but it has not gone away and never will for
BELOW: Tetra Pak used a smart packaging gamification feature on its packs to engage end users with its recycling messages in
a fun way.
packaging. So during the year it was encouraging to see that the Holy Grail project, providing different plastics with a digital ‘water mark’ moved up a gear (from 2.0 to 4.0) to industrial trials with Henkel, with results due in 2021. Tetra Pak joined the fray with a smart packaging gamification feature on its packs to engage end users with its recycling messages in a fun way. Kellogg’s meanwhile added technology to some of its cereal packs in UK to provide an audio link for those who are visually impaired, including messages on recycling, allergens and ingredients. More to come in 2021 we predict.
And finally the relentless task to engage customers in fun and interest- ing ways (like augmented reality) has continued to gather momentum, the latest example being a Jamaican rum, Blackwell, with an 007-themed bottle linked to the 25th James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’. Of course, the Australian wine & spirit sector has long been at the forefront of using smart packaging to entertain, trace and authenticate its products and we feel sure it will continue that way.
So, while it may be a virtual smart packaging party this year, here’s to 2021! ■
Andrew Manly is the communica- tions director of the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) and a long time commentator on packaging technolo- gies. AIPIA is running a series of five virtual events through 2021. For more details on these events and other AIPIA activities visit

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