Just like many other important spheres of life, digital revolution, mainly the one that has been ushered in by the ubiquitous smartphone and internet, is having a profound impact on the world of packaging as well. In India, there are already close to 400 million people who own a smartphone and the count is rising rapidly as smartphones get increasingly affordable for a wide section of the Indian society.
Given all the excitement surrounding smart packaging, it was interesting to listen to Dhruv Kanodia of Kanodia Technoplast at the recently concluded Innopack F&B Confex held in Mumbai on 5-6 April, where he talked about the subject and what kind of smart packaging solutions his company was offering to Indian consumers.
“Every brand is now looking for innovative solutions and wanting to sell the packaging rather than the product. Consumers, on the other hand, want packaging to excite, inform, create an experience and also save the world. Your packaging has to become smart and if it is not connected to a smartphone then it does not have a future,” Kanodia said. Some of smart packaging solutions are image recognition, bar codes, QR codes, unique QR codes and RFID, among others.
One of the popular forms of interactive or smart packaging solution is unique coded packaging, which refers to the process of providing unique codes (randomized or serialized) of any form to each packet of a product such that each packet can be identified individually. Some of the uses of the unique coded packaging are product identification and customer interaction. Kanodia Technoplast has a unique QR code packaging solution under the brand name KanUniq. Unique QR codes are being used in promotional schemes offered by brands who offer cash back schemes that require integration of coding in packaging, said Kanodia.
“Solutions like KanUniq open a window of possibilities for brand owners as well as customers. Brand owners get access to valuable consumer data while consumers have a great experience. Also, it offers anti-counterfeiting measures and traceability,” said Kanodia.
Convenience is a desirable attribute that consumers look for in packaging. Kanodia Technoplast has developed an innovate reclosable pouch which enhances the level of convenience when compared to ziplock pouches. Kanlock brand of pouches come with a reclosable-zip with self-fusing micro-hooks that need not be perfectly aligned while closing, respond to little pressure and don’t get clogged by product particles, thus closing easy and tight. The pouches provide sensory feedback to consumers through touch and sound that is reassuring and also generates confidence in the brand. The innovation has been recognized and the company won the World Star Award 2018 for the Kanlock reclosable mini-pouch for BABA Elaichi.
In addition to smart packaging, another major buzz word in the world of packaging is sustainability, which has been making headlines recently after Maharashtra banned use of plastics. Both government and consumers are getting informed about the issue and authorities are now flexing their muscles. However, industry players say that for any sustainable packaging solution to work, it has to be cost effective.
“It is not about what you use to make the packaging. Ultimately, it is about how you manage the waste. But then things like government decision are not in control of the industry. So, at Kandoia we have developed a plastic-free solution,” said Kanodia.
The company has developed a solution in which printed layer has been altered with printed paper with a gloss lacquer while the metallic layer has been altered with aluminium foil and the sealing layer has been altered with heat seal water-based lacquer. “This does not contain plastic, has the same barrier properties and same aesthetics as traditional solutions,” Kanodia said.
Kanodia emphasized that for any sustainable solution to work in India, it is necessary that these solutions are viable when manufactured in bulk. The raw material to manufacture these solutions should be easily available locally and material can be run on existing technology available with converters.
“Our plastic-free solution fulfils all these criteria,” Kanodia said.