Why WestRock's Connected Packaging Solutions Are a Big Deal
Paperboard packaging giant WestRock announced last week that it is taking major strides in making packaging a “smarter,” more interactive experience. According to a press release, the Norcross, Ga.-based company will be showcasing its Connected Packaging Solutions at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual Convention and Expo, happening this week in New York City.
The release states that the WestRock packaging features enabled barcode technology from Digimarc to connect with consumer smartphones and point of sale systems, among other devices. Additionally, the release states that Internet of Things platform EVRYTHNG has provided an Active Digital Identity for each individual package.
Packaging Perspective: Smart packaging has the potential to completely change the brand and consumer experience. But still in its infancy, the technology will need a larger, more accessible platform to disassociate itself from the negative connotations of terms like “niche,” “novelty” or “gimmick.”
There have been several cool applications of interactive print hitting the market, such has Hopsy’s beer delivery service or Malibu Rum’s limited run of smart labels. But regional applications like these have not had the sort of widespread impact that affects a significant volume of consumers.
Seeing a company like WestRock, which is unquestionably among the largest entities in the packaging space, even mentioning the prospect of connecting billions of packages, signs and displays is huge news. According to the release, SmithersPira is predicting the smart packaging market to reach more than $2 billion by 2021 and grow at least 18% annually.
Will WestRock’s foray into the world of interactive print be a catalyst in transforming the consumer’s in-store experience to a digital one? If this showcase at the NRF convention, along with Thinfilm's printed electronics demonstrations at CES, are any indication, we’re heading in the right direction.
For more information on WestRock's Connected Packaging Solutions, check out the video below.