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Active and intelligent packaging is a growing segment and one food companies are starting to pay attention to.

It's also one of packaging company Visy's key platforms, according to its insights and category manager Adam Robinson.

He took to the stage at the Future Unpacked LIVE Industry Forum last week to share that the global market for smart packaging was currently at $5.3 billion.

It is believed this market will have a projected value of $7.8 billion by 2021.

“Consumers still need convincing, but in the meantime retailers are finding all sorts of ways to raise the bar on freshness, convenience, food waste – and active and intelligent packaging can help with all these areas by verifying authenticity and so on,” Robinson said.

Apart from authenticity, smart packaging can also work to provide greater traceability and offer new ways for brands to engage with consumers.

Driscoll's Berries packs, for example, are now linked to an app which enables consumer interaction when they scan the code on the pack.

“The app offers real-time feedback while someone is eating the product,” Robinson said.

He also cited nanocellulose as a “game-changer” in the packaging world, mentioning predictions it could wipe out plastics altogether.

The renewable material is made from wood fibres and is believed to be very strong. It has the tensile strength of steel, he said.

“It is believed that by 2025, petroleum-based packaging will be no more,” Robinson said.

He also spoke about Visy's partnership with IoT provider Water.IO which would see the provision of more advanced intelligent packaging options to customers.

Water.IO's Smart Cap technology can convert any bottle into a smart bottle to provide consumers with important personal reminders and alerts.

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