The Future of Packaging: Coronavirus Update. For more information click here

E-commerce and the Customer Experience - 'What is next' for the future of packaging?

Smithers Pira: Why is this event important to the packaging market?

Fred Hart: Our industry is going through massive change - and we need to make packaging great again! Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic, but this event provides an opportunity to hear first hand, what opportunities, challneges and advancements lie ahead. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of where the industry is headed. They'll be able to jumpstart the conversation internally at their own companies and find where they can fit into the movement of change and advancement.   

Smithers Pira: What value will you add to the panel?

Fred Hart: We all have a unique perspective - mine comes from working exclusively with the food and beverage industry. I have had a first-hand look at the disruption of e-commerce when it comes to food, everything from Amazon's private label to Brandles to companies launching direct-to-consumer. People are curious about how the food world will transition to the online world – what parts will transition and what won’t. I've got the answer - but it'll cost you a $1,000,000 to hear it. 

Smithers Pira: What are you looking forward to the most in the future?

Fred Hart: Engagement. Packaging at retail, for the most part, is a one way conversation for retail. The great thing about e-commerce is that the consumer has already made their purchasing decision when the packaging is actually infront of uou. Thus, the unboxing moment/experience comes into play. The ability to educate or entertain are now the real opportunity. Allbirds - the US's fastest growing shoe comapny - is a brand that exudes a clear understanding of this moment, and it's value to both consumer and brand. 

Smithers Pira: What innovations would you like to see in the future of packaging?

Fred Hart: Innovations around sustainable packaging are pretty inspiring. Food wrappers can now be made out of milk proteins and thus edilble! This cuts down on waste and gives a purpose for every aspect of the packaging.

Digital printing is a fascinating innovation, but can be cost prohibitive to the smaller brands who want to make big impacts such as Coca Cola and the “Is Your Name on a Coke Bottle” campaign. Democratizing custom printing, digital printing and even 3D printing would drastically change the way that small and big brands can appeal to their consumers.

It is also interesting to see how packaging can be part of bridging the gap between social media and the packaging world. Engaging that excitement of receiving unique packaging with a product, with followers on Twitter or Facebook, while also engaging the brand can be a pretty powerful act. That packaging or experience recorded by a consumer could influence others to purchase that product too – which can start a trend and so on.

Learn more about Fred Hart and Interact on Shelf


  • Fred Hart

    Creative Director & Partner Interact Boulder

    Fred Hart is a Partner and Creative Director at Interact Boulder, a spirited and obsessive branding and packaging design firm that works closely with food and beverage brands. Located in Boulder CO, at the epicenter of the natural foods movement, Fred helps usher in the good food revolution and changing of the guards in CPG.

    Fred’s CPG experience includes work in multiple bleeding and leading-edge food and beverage categories, as well as in automotive and household cleaning industries. Notable brands he’s worked with include Dogfish Head Brewery, Mondelez-owned Enjoy Life Foods, Monster Energy, and S.C Johnson brands Scrubbing Bubbles & Pledge.

    When Fred’s not walking through grocery stores like they’re art museums, he’s actively disproving that white men can’t jump and exploring cities on foot.