Pack Expo 2015

Photochromic packaging ink, which is only visible in sunlight, to revolutionize intelligent packaging industry

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

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Printpack has developed a photochromic ink which claims to revolutionize the packaging industry in the intelligent, interactive market segment.

Making its debut at Pack Expo 2015 in Las Vegas, last month, the technology – utilizing a proprietary process invented by Printpack – allows for photochromic ink to be hidden within standard graphics on a flexible film pack and only becomes visible when it is exposed to sunlight.

Cheese & dairy, beverages, snacks and confectionery

Photochromic Ink - Before

Printpack based in Atlanta, US, is a packaging converter for the cheese and dairy, beverages, snacks and confectionery market among others.

Alisha Howard, marketing manager, Printpack, told BakeryandSnacks, the technology is the first of its kind in flexible packaging.

Nothing on the market today is capable of producing this type of customer interaction for brands in a flexible package​,” she said. 

The process represents the first time photochromic ink has been applied to a flexible film, giving brand owners in any market capable of utilizing flexible packaging new options for interacting with their customer base​.

Interactive packaging is proven to capture consumer attention and encourages engagement with the brand in a meaningful way. It can truly set a brand apart by adding depth to the consumer experience​.”

Howard was reluctant to divulge too many details into the technology. She said: “We are keeping much of the information internal for the time being since it is such a new technology and there is nothing else like it on the market."

'A challenge for the flexible packaging industry for years'

Photochromic Ink - After

But she added, “The technology can be used on any flexible packaging application, both food and beverage​.”

According to Howard, applying photochromic ink has been a challenge for the flexible packaging industry for years, particularly in high speed production environments – in turn limiting options for brand owners looking to differentiate their product.

She said Printpack’s R&D team designed the innovative process to apply the ink while still upholding the integrity of the packaging design and graphics to the highest standards.

The technology is now available to brand owners globally. 

Printpack is a privately-held manufacturer of flexible and specialty rigid packaging, employing over 3,200 associates worldwide.

It has 21 manufacturing facilities in the US, Mexico and China.

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