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If you ask for the most important goal in marketing, consumer engagement will definitely make it into the top ten. Respectively, smart devices for unique and personal shopping experiences are evolving at high-speed. The hang-tag, a packaging-classic, which will now be reinvented to provide an intelligent solution to consumer brand companies looking for an attention-capturing tool of the next level.

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Innovative technologies and materials are creating new possibilities for the print packaging industry and resulting in the continuous development of this sector. To find out how our industry is going to evolve within the next years and to identify the upcoming key-trends on the global print packaging market, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in partnership with NPES – The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and the VDMA, the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association of Germany has conducted a joint comprehensive study.

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How do you know if the coffee in your to go mug is ready to drink without trying and maybe burning your lips? Do you have an idea if you can still eat the meat in your fridge even if the expiration date is already exceeded? Actual there is no practicable answer but nanotubes stamps could bring the solution! Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a stamping process that involves carbon nanotubes which might cost-effectively print electronic ink onto almost any surface – whether rigid or flexible.

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The food industry presents some of the most demanding coding and marking challenges for food companies. During the printing process, which has to be efficient and reliable, codes on products do not only have to withstand extreme variations in temperatures. Color fastness, cleanliness and hygiene are also playing an important role when printing them. This is why the choice of the right coding system for labelling food products is essential.

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Innovation in packaging technologies is key to success since it offers great opportunities to increase brand identity and customer loyalty. This also applies to the pharmaceutical industry, which is constantly growing: Between 2015 and 2020 the market for pharmaceutical packaging will increase by 8 percent. But still, this sector of the packaging industry, in particular, faces many challenges such as medication intake errors or counterfeit drugs. This is where intelligent packaging comes into play providing several benefits for pharmaceutical packaging.

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Every year the print and packaging industry are challenged to reinvent themselves by developing better technologies or more innovative ideas. 2016 was an exciting year for every player in the industry with drupa taking place to show off some new designs and creations. We gathered for you some of the trends and packaging ideas of this year.

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There are several medications that have to be stored at a certain temperature. Otherwise they might not only become unusable but also dangerous to the patient’s health. Add this to the fact that patients are not constantly adhering to their prescriptions or forget to take their medicine and you see how important smart packaging has become for the pharma industry.

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According to the FAO about one third of the food produced in the world, which is approximately 1.3 billion tons, is thrown out. A newly invented microchip which can be integrated in the packaging made by the German company Global Innovationspromises to tackle the food waste problem with the help of intelligent packaging.

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What sounds like a piece of science fiction is already part of modern packaging. Laser perforation in packages helps keeping fruits and vegetables fresh for much longer and reducing food waste. The key: Precision in the production.

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Packaging is often used to communicate product attributes. ‘Fresh’ is written on packages, or ‘low calorie’ or ‘great taste’ – and consumers have to rely on the printed words to assess the claim. This approach clashes with the axiom of creative storytelling that says ‘show, don’t tell’. A team at the creative agency `Jack the Maker’ in Portugal has taken the storytelling advice literally.

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Future Links CW 8 – Multichannel Edition

Omnichannel, multichannel, virtual and augmented reality – these terms become more and more important within a brand’s marketing strategy. This is why our weekly future links focus on developments in these areas – be it short-form shows for Snapchat and the Discover platform, Walmart’s omnichannel presence, Chick-fil-A’s new advertising campaign, an augmented reality effect for Facebook Stories or Lightvert’s ECHO technology.