According to the latest Future Market Insights White Paper, Intelligent Packaging for Circular Economy, only 2% of packaging spend is on intelligent packaging, but this is growing rapidly as intelligent solutions support megatrends around sustainability, automation and need for productivity. 85% of the younger generation prefers intelligent and sustainable packaging. 

Capitalizing on this trend, businesses are using intelligent packaging and sustainable packaging solutions to promote a circular economy and generate economic and environmental value. Also backed by strong consumer awareness about circular economy and preference for intelligent packaging and sustainable packaging, the market is expected to reach mainstream adoption in the next few years.

Achieving circular economy is a global endeavor and businesses worldwide are joining forces to restore the environment and move away from the take-make-waste process to a closed loop system that efficiently reuses, reduces and recycles; and the packaging industry is leading from the front with novel innovations in intelligent packaging and sustainable packaging that mitigate plastic waste and associated risks thus enabling the circular economy. 

The primary objective of intelligent packaging is to combat waste generation, improve overall product shelf-life, reduce the risk of counterfeiting and improve tracking and tracing of products. Intelligent packaging is designed to enable plastic waste sorting and collection, incorporating materials which can be re-entered after processing generating little to no waste. All of these can be pivotal to achieving a circular economy, with the primary focus being on incorporating sustainable and recyclable packaging materials. 

Also, as consumers become more conscious towards the environment, they are advocating companies and brands who use intelligent and sustainable packaging solutions that work in tandem with circularity principles. This has further propelled the demand for intelligent packaging solutions.  

Beyond recyclability and environmental benefits, intelligent packaging offers real time product monitoring, extended product shelf life and efficient tracking and tracing, enabling supply chain efficiencies, and is the next branding strategy deployed for consumer connect and hyper-personalized consumer experience. Packaging manufacturers are leveraging diagnostics, indicator functionalities, smart and intelligent labels, advanced sensor technologies, IoT, AR/VR, AI and disruptive technologies to bring about these functionalities. Despite its plethora of benefits, to enable mainstream adoption, a lot needs to be worked on such as improving awareness among consumers, identifying sustainable end of lifecycle management options for materials and optimizing the cost to achieve scale.  

Future Market Insights expects mainstream adoption in the next few years with top packaging manufacturers, technology providers and brands adopting and actively promoting the use of intelligent packaging solutions to boost recyclability and establish circularity.  

“The global market for intelligent and sustainable packaging is experiencing steady growth driven by gradual but robust commercialization by food and beverage, healthcare, and cosmetic companies, with intelligent packaging expected to account for 5% of total packaging by 2030”, says Ismail Sutaria, packaging consultant, Future Market Insights.

Market Sentiment Analysis about Intelligent Packaging

Future Market Insights conducted a multi-level survey with consumers, packaging technology suppliers, top brands to analyze the market perception and outlook for intelligent packaging. 

  • Inclination towards intelligent packaging and sustainable packaging is more within the Gen Z and millennials
  • Driven by growing consumer awareness regarding food loss and waste, younger population is opting for eco-friendly packaging options that is not only recyclable but also extends the overall shelf life of the eatables
  • Four out of five packaging manufactures believe that intelligent packaging will be the next breakthrough in the industry
  • Food and beverage, consumer products, healthcare and logistics are at the forefront when it comes to adoption of intelligent packaging thus creating the most lucrative end-use investment pockets for packaging manufacturers
  • Pouches, Bags and Boxes will be the dominant formats for intelligent packaging by 2030