Well another successful PACK EXPO is behind us. It was a great show this year expanding over all of McCormick Place and what seemed like a large part of Chicago. I had the privilege to catch up with former colleagues, see some old friends and experience new products never yet been unveiled. A lot of what I experienced in my navigating the show floor was the overall approach to gaining increased consumer interaction with a product. Two booth visits that I attended really hit the nail on the head.

At the Zip-Pak booth I got to explore the plethora of zipper closures for the food market. Some I had seen, some I hadn’t and one is not yet in the market. Zip-Pak has a fragranced zipper that offers the user a burst of scent as they open the package. I met with David Anzini, manager of research and development and he explained that the zipper would work well on a pouch of laundry detergent pods, but also on chocolate or coffee. It works well on products where we as consumers relate a positive smell to the quality or just enjoyment of the product. Very cool- I wonder if we can expect to see this on food packages in the future, for sweet but also savory smells?

At the Avery Dennison booth I met with Mark Bouffard to go over what the company was exhibiting. One thing that stood out was the DirectLink NFC (near field communication) pilot program and its use in the wine industry. All you have to do is hold your NFC enabled smartphone over the tag and the information is automatically loaded to the device. Information like vineyard details, pairing suggestions, recipes, contests and videos. It gives the consumer some unnecessary but fun content, but also allows for authenticity tracking and offers a farm to table approach for wine. Check out their video to learn more: label.averydennison.com/directlink