The future of food packaging involved more than just new colors and bottle shapes. Eye-catching glass cubes and fruit-like containers can go a long way in the fight for consumer attention, but catching the attention of smartphones can take consumer interaction to entirely different places.
From coffee cups with the day's news headlines to secret messages hidden in chocolate bars, designers and marketers are constantly finding new ways establish connections with mobile devices. ShotCode technology, quick response (QR) codes and augmented reality are just a few of the tools being leveraged in this exciting space.
Want to know more? Here are 10 of our favorite smartphone-enabled food and beverage packaging concepts:
1. BREAKING NEWS ON A COFFEE CUP
Company: Tim Hortons
Concept: Inspired by the age-old cliché of drinking coffee and reading the newspaper at the same time, Tim Hortons modernized the notion. By outfitting their coffee cup sleeves with up-to-the-hour breaking news headlines and QR codes, users can scan their coffee cups with their smartphones to read the full story.
2. EDIBLE QR-CODED COOKIES
Concept: Instead of having them on their packaging, German company Qkies is putting QR codes on cookies. Consumers can order cookies with customizable messages. A QR code is then printed on the icing which, when scanned with a smartphone, reveals the hidden message.
3. HERBS TELL THEIR OWN LIFE STORIES
Company: Gaia Herbs
Concept: With its new packaging, Gaia Herbs is introducing its first herb traceability platform, "Meet Your Herbs." Using an ID number found on the packaging, consumers can use the "Meet Your Herbs" app to receive information about any given herb’s regional origin, harvest story and quality test results.
4. ONLINE ADVENTURE DECODES MYSTERY DORITOS FLAVOR
Concept: As part of its "Doritos iD3 Mystery Flavour Promotion," Doritos released mystery-flavored Doritos with a secret code on the inside of the bag’s back seam. Users could play a three-part online adventure games to identify the mystery flavor. Gamers who figured out the mystery flavor were then entered into promotion sweepstakes for prizes.
5. WINE BOTTLES ENGAGE SHOPPERS
Company: Cellar Key and Nathan Lion Wine Group
By slapping QR codes on wine bottles’ necks, Cellar Key and the Nathan Lion Wine Group are engaging customers. Instead of judging wine purely by the bottle (or price tag), wine shoppers can now scan a QR code with their smart phones and get information on the wine, watch videos about it, get virtual tours of wineries, find out what food it goes best with and read reviews.
6. VIDEOS REVEAL FIELD FRESH LETTUCE'S ORIGIN STORY
Company: Tanimura & Antle Inc.
Concept: When shoppers' smartphones scan the QR code on Tanimura & Antle’s Field Fresh Wrapped Leaf Lettuce, they get linked to a series of videos. Right there in the produce aisle, curious customers can immediately see how the company packages its produce the moment it's harvested in the field.
7. PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE AUGMENTS REALITY
Company: Kraft Foods
Concept: Using a smartphone app, grocery shoppers can unlock augmented reality content on Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s packaging. By placing a container of cream cheese in front of the smartphone, the container opens on screen to reveal three options: view recipes, watch a commercial or, for a chance to win coupons, catch plummeting ingredients with a shopping basket.
(Image credit: Blippar)
8. SAN PELLEGRINO BOTTLES LEAD TOUR OF BERGAMO, ITALY
Concept: Travel to the Alps, see the lake of Iseo and visit Italy's prized architectural treasures – using only a bottle of water and a smartphone. When users scan the QR code on San Pellegrino mineral water bottles, they are taken on a magical (albeit virtual) tour of the Bergamo province in Italy.
9. HEINEKEN SIX-PACKS TEST MUSIC TRIVIA
Company: Heineken International
Concept: As one of the first companies to use the new ShotCode technology, Heineken created a big stir when it started its “Plug Into Summer” campaign in 2010. Using the aforementioned coding, consumers scanned the beer’s packaging with their smartphones and, with Heineken’s Music Challenge iOS app, could then test their music knowledge and receive access to exclusive music content.
10. SEND A MESSAGE WITH LACTA CHOCOLATE BARS
Company: Kraft Foods
Concept: Consumers can send their loved ones chocolate with a personalized message. Using the Lacta app, users can type in their message and select their friend from their Facebook list. The friend receives a Facebook notification instructing them to download the Lacta app, enabling their smartphone to “see through” the packaging of any Lacta chocolate bar and read its hidden message.
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