14 July 2023

Digital Darwinism: AI In Packaging

Digital Darwinism, it seems like a choice but it isn't really

AI in packaging might seem like something that is just going to affect the design markets, but it’s going to also have a hugely beneficial impact on the efficiency of packing methods within packaging. It will also help brands to analyze which elements of their packaging are getting conversions and which elements are stopping them from happening – in other words AI is going to revolutionize the way in which companies approach their product packaging.


Digital Darwinism applies the theory of natural selection to managing change in the digital economy. The phrase “digital Darwinism” was popularized in 2011 by digital analyst Brian Solis, who wrote in The Washington Post: “Digital Darwinism is the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than some companies’ ability to adapt. The point of natural selection is that only some businesses will survive.”

Digital Darwinism is survival of the fittest in the digital economy—adapt to disruptive innovations and embrace evolving technologies, or go out of business.


AI as a packaging solution was first used commercially in Sweden when a developer called Rajabzadeh Namaghi decided to add a learning model, (not unlike Darwin’s theory of evolution) to a programme which helped the computer match a product to its most efficient packaging counterpart. For example the computer would be faced with a product, it would have a database of packaging options and from that database – and the programme – it would be able to match the product to the most suitable packaging solution. Saving the company excess packaging waste, reducing the business’ carbon footprint and generally making the whole process more efficient.


Artificial Intelligence can digest huge amounts of data in very little time, streamlining the efficiency of operations and taking out human error. In the logistics aspect of a packaging project, this is an invaluable asset to any manufacturing line. If AI can incorporate machine learning to change the way in which items are packed to optimize all elements of the process then not only will companies be able to save money on shipping; they will also be able to improve the unboxing experience for their customers. Here is a list of some of the ways in which AI can improve the packaging industry:

  • Zero downtime
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Transparency regarding tracking of the entire process
  • Data footprints from start to finish
  • Analyzing processes to optimize them 


Amazon has used AI and machine learning to improve their packing methods, their algorithm is now set to prioritize packaging efficiency rather than maximizing the space available for each product. This not only saves them space as the products in each box will be packed in a way that finds the optimal fit to the box for each item, it also saves the consumer having to get rid of excess packaging which makes their experience more positive, increasing the chances of return business and positive reviews.


The digital revolution has imposed new business models, new payment methods, new ways of buying, finding information, communicating and relating in which there is no place for the Shakespearean dilemma “to be or not to be” — on a digital level — if we want to survive.Companies have to adapt to the new technology, there is no other way of doing it. Thirty years ago you could only buy something if you physically went into a shop and bought it with a card or cash. Now you can buy something that isn’t even a physical product via your phone in a website or app. AI in packaging is going to be the new business model that brands have to implement, no matter the sector, the advance in technology is going to affect not only the workforce but the way that the sector moves. 


There are many ways that AI could improve the packaging market, not just with machine learning but also through other aspects such as finding new areas within a sector, understanding large amounts of data and optimizing the entire packaging process to save time, money and workforce. When it comes to Digital Darwinism it is not so much a question of how much time do you have left to implement some element of this into your business, but a question of why have you not done so before?


If you are looking for smart packaging options, get in touch with the BPAK team or check out the article Connected: The Internet of Packaging. AI is going to have a huge impact on every sector, wouldn’t it be great to be ahead of the competition before it becomes mainstream?