German supermarket cooperative Edeka extends smart labelling, tests reusable boxes for fresh products

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German supermarket cooperative Edeka extends smart labelling, tests reusable boxes for fresh products

August 01, 2018 - 06:32

BRUSSELS, Aug. 1, 2018 (RISI) -Customers in Germany will find more and more tattooed fruits and vegetables when they do their grocery shopping, as the big supermarket chains continue their battle against disposable packaging.

The supermarket cooperative Edeka announced last week that it will step up the so-called smart branding, i.e. labeling with laser technology. This will reportedly reduce the group’s plastic consumption by some 50 tonnes/yr.

“Organic mangos, ginger, sweet potatoes and coconuts were the pioneers. Now, avocados, kiwis, watermelons, pumpkins, citrus fruits and cucumbers without traditional labels will also gradually become available,” Edeka said in a statement.

“With smart branding, font and logo are applied to the product with a high-resolution laser. Only pigments on the outer shell are removed. The fruit or vegetable is not damaged – taste, shelf life and appearance remain flawless,” the group added.

Reusable boxes in Büsum:Elsewhere, Edeka is testing reusable boxes for cheese and meat products. In a pilot market in Büsum, Schleswig-Holstein, customers have the opportunity to buy fresh products from the service counter with a reusable box. “The new system is simple, practical and helps to avoid disposable plastic or paper packaging,” Edeka said in a statement.

According to the group, the customer receives the returnable box together with his goods at the counter and pays for both at the cash desk. At the next visit, he brings his box back and puts it in a collection box. “The collected boxes are cleaned in the supermarket and are then waiting in perfect condition at the counter for the next customer who can use them again free of charge,” Edeka noted.