Justin Payton, marketing product manager, and Brandon Pankratz, graphics production supervisor, demonstrated a cloud-based technology which, when applied to packaging and then viewed on a smart phone or tablet, causes coupons, recipes, or other information to appear as if projected in 3D from the package.
The software is provided by a company called Daqri, Payton told FoodProductionDaily. “The technology is currently in use on Lucky Charms cereal and some Heinz products,” he said. “We’re looking at applying it to packaging for processed meat products.”
“You scan the product label with your smart phone and an image that appears to be superimposed on the package face comes up,” Pankratz explained. “When you click on the image, it can link you to coupons, recipes, a list of related products or anything else the manufacturer chooses.”
Payton said he and Pankratz see the Daqri technology as a logical evolution from QR (Quick Response) codes.
“QR codes haven’t really worked out in most cases,” he asserted. “Too many companies didn’t know what they wanted to use the codes for and they linked it to something consumers didn’t care about.”
While the Daqri 4D technology is more likely to appeal to tech-savvy consumers, as with QR codes, “the key to its success lies in what the 4D image links to,” Payton said. “Because this technology is cloud-based, we can manage the cloud for our customers and keep it dynamic.”
He also noted that Bemis is working with another augmented reality program, appropriately named Augment, that significantly speeds up the packaging design process.
“With Augment, you don’t have to create 3D mock-ups,” Payton explained. “We can make a 2D package face, and with this software we can show the brand owner what the product would look like on the shelf. They can compare it to an existing package, or a competitor’s package, without the time and cost of making a prototype.”
Old school, new tech
To answer requests from a growing number of brand owners for packaging that conveys a handcrafted or ‘artisan’ image, Bemis is using atypical printing techniques on nonwoven films.
“Our customers have told us that especially for premium products, consumers respond to an artisan look and feel,” said Payton. “For some products, we’ve achieved that by laminating paper to the sealant film layer so the package resembles a paper sack.”
For Hillshire Farms’ Park’s Finest franks, however, Bemis took a different approach. “We printed a butcher block image on matte BOPET film, and then added texture to mimic the rough surface of a real butcher’s block,” Payton said.