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Flexible packaging and labels maker Constantia Flexibles has launched a new solution for interactive packaging in food and pharmaceutical segments.

Opening up digital communications and marketing opportunities for brands, the company is offering to take on the printing and the implementation of the contents as well as data management through a solution called Constantia Interactive.

CEO Alexander Baumgartner said the company could now provide a packaging feature that is also an important marketing tool, and “one that meets the needs of the end customer and supplies additional information in a simple way.”

Constantia Interactive combines digitally readable packaging material with a digital platform for data management.

There is also a smartphone app which is customisable to a wide range of customer needs.

“The big advantage here is the control over the data collected which can be provided directly to the customer as a part of the comprehensive solution,” Baumgartner said.

“The digital features span from purely informative, such as instructions for use, through to videos and games... to contests that can be individually selected by the customer.”

Packaging with added services

The Constantia Interactive app has created additional services to patients by offering direct access to additional information at any time, and making it safer to take medication.

The chat bot allows patients to ask individual questions about the product that may not be easily answered by the packaging insert.

The package insert itself is also accessible in a digital format through the app – if the printed version is ever lost or mislaid, patients will also have it digitally.

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Using the search function, the text can be combed through for a certain term or terms, and the font size and language can also be adjusted.

In addition, a personal calendar function reminds users to take the individual medication and even to refill prescriptions.

In combination with a digital anti-counterfeiting identification such as watermark or another digitally readable code, Constantia Interactive is also an effective means of identifying counterfeit products.

A marketing tool to 'wow' the customer

Using a smartphone app developed specifically for each brand, the consumer scans the packaging for a variety of identifying features such as image analysis, digital watermark, RFID tags, which then appear in augmented reality.

“In this way, the application is personalised to the respective company or brand and corresponds to the respective brand design,” Baumgartner said.

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“The company itself controls what features are shown. It's a personalised marketing tool to ‘wow’ the customer.”

Interaction on the shelf

According to a survey conducted in Germany by Constantia Flexibles, 69 per cent of those surveyed would rather buy or at least take from the shelf food with interactive packaging than a similar product without an interactive feature.

Interactive packaging also influences product brands in general. Of those surveyed, 66 per cent considered a brand with interactive elements included in its packaging to be “in step with the times”.

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