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The Bottler’s Guide to Innovative Beverage Packaging in 2023

4 2023

As technology evolves and beverage trends change accordingly, it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening in the market in order to stay relevant.

We’re launching a new eBook that breaks down exactly which beverage trends companies are utilizing to stay ahead of the curve and grow their revenue and market shares.

>>> Read more on smart packaging and other trends to grow your beverage brand in 2023

One of the key beverage trends that brands are leveraging is smart packaging. Global consultancy firm McKinsey named the digitalization of packaging as one of the 5 packaging megatrends that are poised to disrupt the industry.

A recent survey by McKinsey recently found that 42% of businesses plan to increase their spend on connected packaging campaigns by up to $50,000. That’s more than double the amount in the year prior, which stood at $18,000!


It’s clear that smart packaging is one of the beverage trends shaping the future. Here’s what you should know.


There are many reasons why you should consider leveraging smart packaging for your brand, including raising your business profile, increasing sales, and fostering customer loyalty.

Enhanced user experience

The ease with which your customers can find, learn more about, and engage with your product is dramatically improved with smart packaging. Their experience with your beverage becomes more personalized, convenient, and interactive.


For a competitive edge that can help your brand stand out in a crowded market, smart packaging will set your business apart from the pack. Your offerings will stand out on the shelves and spark greater interest and curiosity among both your returning and potential customers.

Improved traceability

Monitoring your products’ journey is easier than ever with smart packaging. These technologies can help you improve traceability by providing information about the product's origin, production, and distribution. This is useful information for your brand and also boosts transparency and builds trust with customers.

Data-driven decisions

Smart packaging can collect data about consumer behavior and preferences, which can be used to improve marketing strategies and product development. You can leverage data gleaned from smart packaging to optimize campaigns and outreach, and to better plan new product launches.


As consumer awareness around environmental concerns continues to grow, smart packaging can be designed to reduce waste, increase recyclability, and decrease the carbon footprint of the product. You can utilize this to minimize your brand’s environmental impact and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

>>> Read more on smart packaging and other trends to grow your beverage brand in 2023


Numerous companies have rolled out innovative packaging and are reaping the benefits of this disruptive technology. Here’s how it’s making an impact in the market:

Near-Field Communication

NFC features enabled on smartphones can be linked with NFC tags or stickers. It’s also possible to program NFC applications to automate operations, for greater transparency and real-time updates regarding the manufacturing and bottling processes.

Spanish winemaker Barbadillo launched smart wine bottles that utilize NFC to provide consumers intriguing offers and additional information about their offerings. Shoppers can simply tap their phones against the neck of the wine bottles, and learn more about an ongoing promotion on the product.

QR Codes

Beverage brands are using QR codes to give their consumers near-instant links to nutritional info or to bring compelling, interactive promotional content directly to their smartphones.

QR codes that link to content boost customer engagement, in turn increasing the likelihood that consumers will buy products and spend more. According to a Gallup survey, engaged customers were correlated with a staggering 23 percent higher share in profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.

Wine producer Siduri even observed a significant increase in average time spent on their website after introducing QR codes! It’s clear that adding the codes is linked to a rise in brand interest and a customers’ willingness to interact with your brand.

Beyond the marketing benefits, scannable codes also provide more inclusivity for visually impaired customers. A QR code provides them with the opportunity to view important information in larger fonts that are easier for them to see.

Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)

Iris Nova, a company that facilitates consumers to make purchases via text messages, partnered with intelligent labels solutions company Avery Dennison to offer RFID-enabled smart beverage bottles.

“It’s ultimately more of an operational efficiency that we are relying on human sales reps to accomplish for us,” explains Zak Normandin, the founder, and CEO of Iris Nova.

Normandin notes that RFID technology is a powerful tool for inventory management and keeping track of sales and stock in real-time.

“Each label is unique to the product it’s being put on, and that allows us to have almost 100 percent accuracy on the inventory that’s being managed through the fridges we have RFID installed on.”


If you’re eager to make the most of smart packaging to benefit your beverage brand, you should be aware of the following factors for smooth and successful implementation.

Cost: Investing for the long run

Though smart packaging can be more expensive upfront to produce than traditional packaging, companies who’ve invested in smart packaging are reporting an increase in sales and brand engagement.

Is your technology compatible?

Smart packaging relies on technology such as sensors, NFC, or AR, so it's important to ensure that the technology is reliable and easy to use for both the consumer and the manufacturer.

Are your machinery and factory floor ready?

Many smart packaging options require specialized equipment or systems for production, distribution, or recycling. You’ll need to ensure that you have the proper infrastructure in place to support your new packaging before moving forward.

Legal and regulatory requirements

Considering the constantly changing laws around data privacy, labeling, and environmental standards, you need to conduct sufficient research into what’s required from your brand. It’s critical to prioritize remaining in compliance with the relevant regulations.

Consumer acceptance may take time

Because smart packaging may be new or unfamiliar to consumers, you’ll need to understand how to make it appealing, user-friendly, and provide added value to the customer. If your packaging doesn’t resonate with your target audience, it won’t create a positive impact for your brand.



The industry is constantly changing, and staying on top of the latest beverage trends is crucial for growing your brand. For everything from greater market share to increasing brand recognition, it’s critical that you leverage the latest developments in the space to position your business as an industry leader.

By incorporating smart packaging and other innovative beverage trends, you can attract new customers, build a loyal following, and excite consumers who are already familiar with your offerings.

>>> Download our eBook to learn about other trends to grow your brand