Engaging with Customers in the New Digital World

As the supplements industry continues to surge forward, one of the most significant industry trends in the current market is the shift toward smart packaging. This enhanced technology provides connected packaging options for sales items, offering the consumer additional information about the product, the brand, and promotional details on current retail items.

The phenomenal growth in the current market is further enhanced by these recent packaging releases, all of which occurred in the last month. These creative solutions promise to keep the market escalating while powerfully engaging new customers.

Connected Packaging Technology

There are a number of innovations at work in the current smart packaging offerings. These represent the creative efforts of visionaries who are building a marketplace environment where the consumer is more connected and involved with the companies. Here are four current case examples, detailing the technologies used and the benefits of each:

ePac Flexible Packaging

This leader in digitally produced flexible packaging has recently released its ePacConnect smart package offering. A newly designed connected packaging option provides a custom QR code on every item, with the unique distinction of offering serialization to each package within the code. The QR code can be scanned on the shelf by any smartphone, tablet or other qualifying device. The consumer is provided current, relevant information about the product and its brand, and any special promotions available at the time. Shopper information is also harvested and compiled for data analysis and shopper tracking, creating brand-enabled marketing insights. Since every item is serialized, inventory stocking issues and counterfeiting efforts are easily detected and resolved.

Jones Healthcare Group

The Jones Healthcare Group has announced the release of its CpaX Packaging program. This offering utilizes no-contact NFC technology, implanting a specific NFC device within each package. The consumer can then tap the packaging with any smartphone or other NFC enabled device, and receive updated product and promotion information regarding the item. Customer data is also collected and stored on a cloud-based platform for brand analysis and marketing information. Since the NFC device is triggered at the time of the scan, the information provided to the consumer can be updated in real-time, guaranteeing the customer up-to-date product information, usage or dosage instructions, and even tutorial videos regarding the program and the various options and accessories available.

Yeo Valley Organic

Yeo Valley Organic has taken an even bolder step, including all of its product lines in the vast company roll-out of connected packaging. More than 100 million product packages now contain the company ‘Moo-R’ QR codes, linking the customer to a unique digital experience regarding the brand, its products, and their highly touted ‘Put Nature First’ program. Scanning the QR code on a smartphone or other device connects the customer to the company rewards system, specific product information, Nature First initiatives, brand expansions and other ongoing promotions. The company’s express goal is to keep it simple and yet highly interactive, engaging the customer in every cause through product inspiration.

Kelloggs Cereals NaviLens

Kelloggs Cereals, in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), has announced the trial release of a new technology called NaviLens, designed specifically to assist the blind or otherwise visually impaired. This release will initially be placed on Kellogg’s Coco Pops cereal boxes in UK markets and will provide a link from each package to the consumer’s smartphone at a distance of up to 3 meters. This information will include pertinent data concerning the product such as ingredient lists, allergen warnings and dietary information. Once the device is connected and the data transmitted, the user can utilize their personal choice of accessibility options on their device to read the data or have it read to them as needed. If the trial release is successful, Kelloggs hopes to ramp up other cereal products with the same NaviLens technology and release these enhanced accessibility options for the visually impaired into further markets. These innovations are great examples of how smart packaging can reach to assist the impaired audience with remarkable solutions.

Supplements Industry Trends

As these new connected packaging technologies continue to advance, the various health and wellness industries stand to benefit greatly. Brands who embrace the new capabilities will leverage their advantages in the marketplace both in enhanced customer satisfaction and in detailed consumer data acquisition. Increased interactions with the customer will bring about greater experiences for the user, and work to develop a more committed and dedicated customer base. These industry trends set the stage for continued growth and prosperity in the supplements market while increasing consumer interaction and support. By all measures, connected packaging is a win-win situation for the consumer and for the industry.