With the packaging segment of the plastics industry experiencing rapidly increasing growth, innovation and creativity are critical to competitiveness. Beginning this month, Constantia Flexibles (Vienna) offers a unique solution for interactive food and pharmaceutical packaging that opens up a multitude of digital communications and marketing opportunities.
A survey conducted by Constantia Flexibles on the topic of packaging in the food industry in Germany found that 49% of consumers agreed that interactive packaging makes the product itself more attractive.
According to CEO Alexander Baumgartner, “Besides protection, the role of packaging is also to attract the attention and interest of consumers. With Constantia Interactive, we provide a packaging feature that is an important marketing tool, one that meets the needs of the end customer and supplies additional information in a simple way.”
The unique character of Constantia Interactive is in its combination of digitally readable packaging with a digital platform for data management and a smartphone app customizable to a wide range of customer needs. The big advantage, according to the company, is control over the data, which can be provided directly to the customer as part of a comprehensive solution.
The digital features span from the purely informative, such as instructions for use, and videos and games to contests that can be individually selected by the customer.
The Constantia Interactive app has created additional services such as offering patients direct access to additional information about pharmaceutical products. The “chat bot” allows patients to ask questions about the product that may not be answered by the packaging insert. The package insert itself is also accessible in a digital format through the app—if the printed version is lost or mislaid, patients can access the information digitally. The text can be searched for certain terms, and the font size and language can be adjusted. In addition, a personal calendar function reminds users to take the medication and even to refill prescriptions.
In combination with digital anti-counterfeiting technology, such as a watermark or other digitally readable code, Constantia Interactive is also an effective means of identifying counterfeit products.
Constantia Interactive is also a marketing tool. Using a smartphone app developed specifically for each brand, the consumer can scan the packaging for a variety of identifying features such as a digital watermark or radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which then appear in augmented reality.
“In this way, the application is personalized to the respective company or brand,” explained Baumgartner. “The company itself controls what features are shown. Constantia Interactive is an efficient, personalized marketing tool to ‘wow’ the customer.”
According to the survey referenced above, 69% of customers would rather buy or at least take from the shelf food with interactive packaging than a similar product without an interactive feature.
“With Constantia Interactive, we have developed an innovative packaging solution that delivers what companies need as well as giving the customers what they want,” Baumgartner said.