The Connected Packaging Summit

Published by Henrique Carrilho

On July 29th and 30th, the World’s first Connected Packaging Summit took place on the virtual stage hosted by Jenny Stanley - Founder and Managing Director of the Connected Experiences Studio - Appetite Creative.


Experts from all around the world had the opportunity to speak and share their insights with hundreds of attendees, on the benefits of connected packaging, the importance of planning a data-based campaign, and how this can be a giant step towards sustainability and digital transformation. It was clear throughout the two-day summit that marketers have a new channel to explore which is bringing fantastic results to brands who are looking to understand their audiences better.  It is being used not only to retain and attract customers but most importantly to engage and interact directly with them in a practical, fast, and environmentally-friendly way.


The event kicked off with Wiebke Apitzsch - Managing Director at TTE Strategy - who shared her insights on “The Strategy Behind - How to get started”, emphasising the importance of avoiding typical pitfalls when setting up data-based projects. The key strategic challenges for the packaging industry when launching a new project were also a matter of discussion with the people being the most important consideration mentioning resources (e.g. raw material prices), sustainability hurdles, and the difficulty of predicting and reacting to changes - such as the Covid-19 pandemic.


Keynote speaker Alessio Schiavone -  Digital Solutions Manager Europe & Central Asia at Tetra Pak - then shared with the audience his view on “The Future of Connected Packaging”, and the main benefits of these campaigns for brands.


 “I'm very confident in the future of connected packaging. I can understand some people being skeptical about using QR codes, because they still have in mind a static QR code, which brings them to an extremely boring web page that doesn't basically say anything interesting, but there is a lot of potential for all the other things that we have started to learn and be knowledgeable about. I cannot honestly believe that any of our customers can really think about being competitive and being close to their customers if they don't start to learn about these kinds of new tools. It's a must. It's simply a must. So we will see a huge expansion [of connected packaging].” 


Alessio also added that connected packaging has made big brands rethink the way they do market research. “So you need to pay an agency to do marketing research, you need to wait for the agency to roll out the surveys, and then it usually takes several weeks or months to get real results that you can work on. And of course, a significant budget. So what we have found is that connected packaging is a fantastic and very cost-effective way to get immediate feedback.” - he added, before sharing that engagement rates, number of users in the databases, and sales experienced significant growth after Tetra Pak embraced this new type of packaging.


Rachel Sheldon, International Business Development Manager at Greiner Packaging, echoed Alessio's comments and described the opportunity that Griener is offering with their K3 packaging and connected Experiences.  Sheldon mentioned that due to the mass implementation of QR Codes, “a stumbling block disappeared”. “I'd be surprised if restaurant menus go back to being in paper format. With sustainability and saving on cost and the environment, you know, to put a QR code and get people to use technology, I'd be very surprised if QR codes disappear. There's a whole new space for brands to take advantage of.” - said Rachel Sheldon on “A New Way to Look at Packaging


To close day 1, Susanne McKinley, Marketing Manager at Tetra Pak Mid Europe shared her insights on the evolution of Connected Packaging and the opportunities this type of packaging opened for the company. 


“It's a great door opener for brands in the Food & Beverages industry to really step into kind of an online world. We see that this could be done via the physical object - which could be the beverage carton, in this case - and really give a very personalized 1-on-1 interaction for brands to interact with consumers. Also, we really see even from some of our global consumer research that 40% of consumers today want to buy from channels and brands that cater to their preferences, and engage with them directly in this kind of one-to-one platform. So this is where we really see these opportunities to focus on connected packaging and the digital area”. Susanne also added that the way Tetra Pak is using packaging is not the same anymore compared to many years ago: “Previously, we would focus on product protection or functionality. Now it's really about differentiation, and also connectivity.” - she added at the end of her session on “Connected Packaging: Fad or Future

The event also included sessions from Uber for Business, Nestlé on Innovation, Sustainability, and Digital Transformation. Check out the other sessions here: 


What is Innovation and how do we keep ahead of the curve? - with Ramy Tarek Eissa”

How to communicate your sustainable/CSR Messaging in an interactive way? - with Pete Durant”, 

How to use Connected Packaging for Sustainability. - with Jenny Stanley”,

Sustainable platforms with connected experiences - with Benjamin Medina”, and

Digital Transformation with Sustainability at its core - with Pippa Guerra”.

All the sessions are now available on Appetite Creative’s YouTube Channel.


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