Smart or intelligent packaging can be created by the addition of temperature activated labels or thermochromic inks printed directly onto packaging, as a single temperature point, or in “traffic light” form. Additionally, labelling can change colour to reveal that it is at the required temperature for best or most enjoyable consumption, whether food or drink. Adding thermochromic inks to packaging of certain foods/drinks has been shown to increase consumer satisfaction through increased quality and/or lengthened product life, and has reduce overall wastage.
Offset litho multi-pack carton board for take-home drinks can be additionally printed in-line with a thermochromic ink. when placed in the fridge the ink will change colour when sufficiently chilled. Flexographic or gravure printed labels on milk or soft fruit can change colour or reveal a message to show when the product is too warm and should be returned to the fridge.
Frozen food packaging can incorporate thermochromic inks or be moulded with thermochromic masterbatch, to signal when a product is correctly below a temperature point, or a change in colour can show that the product is now too warm. For instance an ice cream label, carton, or the plastic lid could change colour.