The F&B growth rate in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is second only to Asia, and ahead of Europe and the Americas.
This means manufacturers are exploring new packaging solutions that can attract the attention of the younger consumer, while not compromising on quality and safety.
Abdelghany Eladib, chief operating officer, Middle East & Africa at SIG Combibloc Obeikan FCZO, told us these consumers wanted more digital engagement and product transparency.
“(Consumers) are demanding better food safety and assurance and seeking more tailored and engaging content from brands,” he said.
Eladib said businesses need packaging solutions that can easily provide valuable product data.
He told us that smart packaging had emerged as a unique way for F&B manufacturers to connect with consumers and for brands to create more innovative, convenient, sustainable and differentiated products.
“(We’re talking about) smart packaging that are transparent, traceable and connected with real time data throughout the product journey – from sourcing, processing, filling, quality checks and logistics, right up to the supermarket shelf.”
For instance, unique on-pack QR codes, allow consumers to view relevant product information on their smartphone, and also create more possibilities for digital marketing activities and optimising production processes.
Another creative application is the use of augmented reality (AR) to create an added value experience for consumers with games, recipes, videos and good-to-know facts.
“(AR) enable consumers to digitally interact with products and unlock personalised content for rewarding brand experiences. They can also provide data that brands can use to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign, such as geographic location or time spent on specific content,” he said.
Examples of smart packaging
Eladib cited some examples of companies and their smart packaging.
For instance, Chinese dairy enterprise, Mengniu printed unique scannable QR codes on its packs to build its brand awareness amongst younger consumers.
“SIG made it possible for Mengniu to enable consumers to participate in the voting process for a celebrity TV show,” he added.
Consumers can interact with the brand, collect points and engage with a popular music band.
Through this creative process, the manufacturer was able to gain a wealth of value-rich big data on their end-users.
Another example was Brazilian food company Languiru that wanted to enhance customer trust in the quality of its dairy products.
“SIG developed an integrated solution that collects product quality data at every stage of the product journey and stores all information in one database,” Eladib said.
“SIG’s filling line prints each package with a unique QR code so consumers can access product information on their smartphone. This result in more quality confidence while stimulating repurchase rates and reducing claim rate,” he added.
Abdelghany Eladib will be speaking at the Gulfood Manufacturing Foodtech Summit on October, 31.