Smart packaging is developing rapidly. A major factor driving the growth of the smart packaging market is increasing demand for packaging that indicates and maintains product quality throughout the supply chain. Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) and smart labels are easy to integrate into current packaging formats. These labels not only help to prevent theft but help to locate products as they move through the supply chain. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires CPGs to be able to, at minimum, identify the immediate supplier and recipient (other than retailers to consumers) of a product, placing responsibility on companies to monitor the path of their products.

Smart labels can be used to monitor temperature and quality, alerting the brand or the consumer when a product has been compromised. Such labels give consumers product safety assurance and allow them to verify unique product codes and confirm that the product has not been counterfeited or tampered with. The technology can also help prevent recalls as well as minimize their impact by identifying where and how in the supply chain any contamination occurred in addition to locating any affected products.

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Another aspect of smart packaging is smart materials, such as packaging materials that absorb oxygen and extend shelf life without additives or preservatives. These technologies meet consumer demand for clean-label products while maximizing shelf life and allowing CPGs to expand distribution to different geographic markets.

The Containers and Materials Pavilion at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2019 (Sept. 23–25; Las Vegas Convention Center) co-located with Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2019, produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, will showcase cutting-edge packaging materials and sustainable packaging options.