Tetra Pak, the world’s leading packaging and processing solutions provider is now taking packaging to a new level by taking smart packaging from a concept to reality in India.

Indian brand owners will now have access to a complete smart packaging ecosystem built around dynamic QR codes, which allow each package to be tracked, monitored and interacted with throughout the supply chain, creating new opportunities for efficient stock management, distribution and automation. It creates new and exciting opportunities for consumer interaction too.

Tetra Pak’s digital package offer for brand owners, therefore, includes three components: code generation and printing on packages, a secure cloud solution for managing the data collected, and a consumer-facing front-end in the form of an app or a microsite on the Internet, or both.

How does smart packaging work?
The key to the technology is the ability to print a unique digital code on every package. In case of a dynamic QR code, this can be scanned ordinary smartphones, allowing all kinds of innovative possibilities:

  • With a supply chain that’s interlinked from end to end, brands can make traceability more transparent, sharing information with consumers right down to the farm that a particular product comes from
  • The package can be the gateway to a consumer engagement programme: a scratch-and-win contest, a unique identifier for an online competition, a loyalty token or a means of creating a one-to-one channel with individual consumers
  • The information flow can be two-way, allowing producers to capture specific, valuable information about their consumers as part of the digital code interaction
  • It can even be used through the post-consumer recycling value chain by providing links to the location of the nearest recycling centre
India is one of three Tetra Pak markets to invest in specialised PICCO printing technology for printing the dynamic QR codes, which will be done at Tetra Pak India’s manufacturing facility at Chakan, near Pune. Tetra Pak is building the ecosystem in-house, from developing the QR codes, to designing the related apps as well as helping brands gain deeper consumer insights through analytics.
The company is now ready to pilot this technology with two leading food and beverage (F&B) brands. The brands will be able to deploy this revolutionary technology to not just engage with consumers in a unique and personalised way, but also to understand consumption patterns and unearth deeper consumer insights. For consumers, this technology allows potential use of augmented reality, real time promotions, downloadable content and more, making it a more exciting experience.

Commenting on the launch, Ashutosh Manohar, managing director, Tetra Pak South Asia, said, “With the rising number of smart phones and internet penetration in the country, India provides a perfect opportunity for smart packaging technology that uses dynamic QR codes.”

“While food safety and traceability, plant productivity and consumer engagement are the most obvious benefits, this technology can be used for many other benefits like sharing information about recycling, what happens to the carton after use, etc. The possibilities are endless,” he added.

“Smart packaging will not only make the packaging more interactive and act as a medium to create conversations. It will also allow brands to trace each package throughout its life cycle – from production, through the supply chain, all the way to the consumers, gathering valuable insights along the way, thereby making this a truly transformational technology,” Manohar added.