Build Trust. Engage New Customers.

Smart labels connect your brand directly with the consumer.

Smart Labels: How Packaging Design is Changing

Labels that light up when expired, labels that provide allergy information,  labels that allow you to track your package through the entire supply chain, these are just a few examples of how smart labeling is rising in popularity and therefore something you should be considering when designing new packaging.

Consumers and Smart Labels

Smart labels put consumers in the driver's seat. Today's shoppers want instant access to information they deem important before purchasing a product.  Smart labels in the form of QR codes, invisible barcodes like in the Digimarc video below or specially configured tags are just a few examples of technology that is providing this level of detail.  Brands that provide ingredients lists, traceability, nutritional details and key information such as the 'best before' date are going to build consumer trust and engage new customers on an entirely new level.

QR Code - Smart label

QR Code


Tracking RFID Tag

Printed Sensors

Printed Sensors

Invisible Bar Codes

Invisible Bar Codes

Consumers are asking for increased traceability, package trackers, delivery times and a unified brand experience both at physical points of sale and when unboxing at home. Smart product labeling can deliver this.

Invisible Bar Codes

The Supply Chain and Smart Labels

Smart labels like printed sensors, provide real-time data about temperature and freshness.  In the area of logistics, companies are tracking shipping crates with RFID tags or down to the level of the individual product with printed sensors on each item.   Robotics for picking, packing and tracking are being integrated at an increasing rate. Ocado, Britain's largest online supermarket, processes 3.5 million items a week, with the help of over a thousand robots that are "lifting", "moving", and "sorting" products.

What This Means For Your Food Brand

According to research done by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute, 7 out of 10 consumers want to know more about the product than just what is found on the label.   GMA goes on to predict that 80% of  food and beverage, pet care and personal care products will have a smart label in the next five years.  This demand by savvy consumers for more product information through smart devices is what is driving the adoption of smart labels in the food and beverage industry.

80% of  food and beverage, pet care and personal care products will have a smart label in the next five years

Include Smart Labels in Your Business Strategy

As your business evolves include conversation around how to incorporate smart labeling solutions into your new packaging.  Ask your current printer what they have for capability.  Will they be ready to move when you are?  What are the best materials to use? What does it cost and how do you build that into your pricing?  Conduct market research around your target audience and their smart device use.  Look into how your local retailers are incorporating smart labeling into their product offering.  Is there an opportunity for your company to gain a competitive edge?

Smart labels help consumers and they work for logistics and warehouses.   This new technology has the potential to transform the way we purchase food and beverage by increasing information transfer, transparency, and decreasing waste.  Sounds like win/win situation.


Looking for packaging suppliers, designers or machinery?

Search our database.  It's free.  If you can't find what you are looking for, drop us a line.

Leave a Reply

  1. Tim Yaotome

    Huh, I never knew that for the next five years 80% of products in the food and beverage industry will have smart labels. If I were to design my product with said type of label, I would ask a professional to do it. Not only will this give a new level of customer experience but also store important information as well.