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Intelligent Packaging: On the Rise at Large Companies

Abbott, Carrefour, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and other firms sought recycling, authenticity and customer-experience solutions at AIPIA World Congress 2019.
By Edson Perin
Dec 15, 2019

Packaging is becoming powerful media, like TV was becoming in the 1980s and 1990s; even when the focus is on radio frequency identification, discussing smart packaging is also a must. It is worth remembering, however, that this phenomenon of turning smart packaging into powerful media is emerging primarily thanks to a combination of technologies that enable smartphone applications such as Near Field Communication (NFC) and digital printing with augmented reality, video games, websites and social media.

In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at AIPIA World Congress 2019, giants such as Abbott Pharmaceutical Laboratory, retail chain Carrefour and Coca-Cola sought solutions ranging from environmental sustainability, recycling and circular economy to product authenticity and counterfeiting, as well as technology initiatives to improve the customer experience and engagement. Interestingly, most attending companies were not looking specifically for technologies but rather for business solutions that carry lower costs and offer greater efficiency.

The AIPIA World Congress 2019 show floor
As a result, a company like Coca-Cola's European subsidiary deployed a battalion of five professionals to attend a micro-event within the AIPIA World Congress, known as the Coca-Cola Challenge. The Abbott Challenge, for example, or the Mondelez Challenge (the latter was held in the United States in June at the AIPIA Summit New Jersey) mobilized only three executives from each company. Because Coca-Cola has put more gray matter into this challenge than the other companies, it seems that the occasion was important for the brand.

Held by the Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA), the World Congress proved to be a business event with high-tech agnostic solutions, ranging from barcodes and RFID to QR codes and fingerprinting. According to Eef de Ferrante, AIPIA's executive director and main articulator, the participants, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers at this event help to develop a new sector and a new industry.

The main lecture area: a top-floor view of the Amsterdam Conference Center Beurs van Berlage

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