Innovation Zone ThePackHub -

Welcome to this week’s ThePackHub Innovation Zone snapshot.

ThePackHub has been collating some great packaging innovation initiatives and we have picked four recent examples for you to peruse below.

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#1 Fast food drink tray doubles as a smartphone speaker

Fast food giants McDonald’s have developed a new drink tray that doubles as a smartphone speaker and stand. The invention that you never knew you needed is a useful way to listen to music whilst eating. The innovation more than doubles the amplification of the sound much to the annoyance presumably of anyone sitting within 10 metres. The ‘McBoombox’ was created to acknowledge the anniversary of the McFlurry. All consumers need to do it  flip over their specially designed drink tray, unfold the speakers, place the smartphone into the McBoombox and enjoy. The activity is a collaboration between McDonald’s Canada who worked alongside the University of Waterloo’s Audio Research Group and design studio Stacklab. The drink tray uses 10-sided speaker openings with reflective surfaces that channel the sound more effectively than cardboard alone.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#2 Can comes to life once chilled

An established thermochromic ink technology is being used for Unilever’s leading Lipton Iced Tea cans as part of a special promotion for Belgium music festival Tomorrowland.  Crown Bevcan has helped Lipton deliver this engaging new pack that sees the can ‘brought to life’ by consumers when chilled. The end result is a beverage can that essentially has two surface designs – before and after cooling. The pack has a strapline encouraging consumers to ‘chill the can and see the love’ which is literal in the sense that the word ‘love’ appears when the can has reached optimal consumption temperature.

More info in The Innovation Zone



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#3 Protective coating has packaging waterproofing potential


Scientists from Canberra, Australia based Nanotechnology Research Laboratory have collaborated with the Australian National University (ANU) to develop a new spray-on material that repels water. The protective superhydrophobic coating has a lot of commercial potential to waterproof consumer products like mobile phones or prevent ice from forming on transport but also has several packaging applications. The surface has a layer of nanoparticles, the coating combining two plastics. The water-repellent coating is transparent and resistant to ultraviolet radiation.  The same principles could also be applied to make coatings that could be anti-corrosive, oil-repellent or even self-cleaning.

More info in The Innovation Zone.

#4 Substrate made from eucalyptus tree creates sustainable biscuit pack

Spanish winemaker Barbadillo has launched a consumer campaign for their best selling Castillo de San Diego wine with an interactive smart bottle initiative. Barbadillo is adding NFC (Near Field Communication) tags to 126,000 bottles, which is claimed to be the largest use of NFC tags for consumer engagement in the wine and spirts industry so far attempted in the world. A neck collar on each bottle is NFC-enabled and consumers simply need to tap with their smartphone. They  have the opportunity to win one of 12 prizes. There is also a code on the cork, which consumers can submit via their mobile for the chance of another instant prize. NFC experts Thin Film Electronics are behind the technology. Take up is improved by the fact that a mobile app is not required to participate, just a NFC enabled phone. The bottles are being sold in 15 Spanish supermarket chains.

More info in The Innovation Zone.


Please visit ThePackHub website to find out more about the range of packaging innovation services we offer. We’ve delivered projects for a number of brand owner, retailer and packaging suppliers.

Until next time. Happy innovating.

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