Technology studio Appetite Creative, in partnership with Domino Printing Sciences (Domino), has released its results from its third annual connected packaging survey.

The research found sustained interest over the last 12 months, with 82% of those surveyed stating they have used connected packaging, compared to over four-fifths, 81%, from the survey released in 2023 and over half, 54%, in 2022.

The barriers and concerns of using connected packaging highlighted by the survey included, 15% lacking knowledge of the technology, 15% unsure how to handle the data, 12% with poor application knowledge and 12% of those surveyed stating lack of readiness as the key concerns.

Only 9% stated that connected packaging wasn’t a business requirement for this year, showing fluctuating business priorities when compared to 7% in the 2023 survey and approximately a third, 29% in 2022 of respondents claiming the same.

In response to a question about why connected packaging is considered important 16% stated the importance of informed product and marketing decisions. A further 15% said the main reason is to have direct interaction with customers, 15% said data collection, and educating customers was slightly behind at 13%. Connected packaging being an environmentally sustainable way to connect with and educate customers was at 11%.

The number of respondents who plan to spend on connected packaging campaigns dropped slightly, with 33% surveyed planning to spend between $15,000 to $30,000 this year. A quarter, 25%, plans to spend $31,000 to $50,000, down by 17% points from the previous results of 42%.

A large majority, 88%, claim to be planning a connected packaging campaign this year. However, only 80% of respondents cited that connected packaging will be increasingly important to the packaging industry in the next 12 months and beyond, a drop of 12% points year-on-year, previously at 92%.

Looking to the year ahead, connected packaging is deemed increasingly important by respondents to provide access to valuable data and insights (11%), encourage customer loyalty (10%), offer an environmentally sustainable way to connect with and educate customers (10%), communicate directly with customers (10%), and utilise gamification as a valuable way to engage with younger audiences (10%).  Sharing product and recycling information was mentioned by 8% and legislation changes by 8%, as being likely to impact the industry this year.

Over three quarters, 78%, agree that connected packaging helps to improve the sustainability credentials of a company, a drop from 91% in 2023 and 80% in 2022.

Jenny Stanley, managing director at Appetite Creative, commented, ‘We’re seeing an overall desire to increase investment in digital advertising this year and a stable investment in connected packaging.

‘It’s great to see the perceived value of data collection through connected packaging rising, especially in the context of the imminent demise of third-party cookie data. It’s also interesting to see sustainability drop down the agenda despite new government-led regulations.

‘We will continue to watch these trends closely and offer what we consider to be high value rewards to clients delivered via connected packaging,’

Domino’s Craig Stobie, director of global strategic sectors, added, ‘At Domino, we’re seeing increased interest from customers about the uses and benefits of deploying connected experiences via product packaging, especially across the circular economy, for medical equipment instructions and FMCG stock management. Demand is likely to rise with more packaging legislation expected,’