Smart packaging for extended shelf life

Practical solution to food waste

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Not every ‘smart’ pack has to feature a gizmo or an interactive device to make it clever. One Korean supermarket has launched a new form of banana packaging, which is being hailed as ‘genius’ on social media. Not only does it, in some respects, extend shelf life, but also promotes healthy eating!

The supermarket’s innovative wrapping of its bananas includes a pack in which a set of six bananas are placed alongside one another in the packet in order of ripeness. In this way, customers can avoid purchasing a bunch of bananas that are already too ripe – or not ripe at all.

Consumers are encouraged on the E-Mart website to eat one banana per day, starting with the most ripe banana and then working their way through the packet of six.

One person on Twitter has described the product as, “Genius at work,” with another person stating that it’s a “practical solution to food waste.” However, other individuals have been less enthused by the idea, condemning the supermarket for its decision to encase the bananas in plastic packaging. While one can’t win them all, at AIPIA on 19 and 20 November 2018, Amsterdam, most tend towards the Genius verdict, as the plastic uses far less resources than throwing away one or two spoiled bananas.

Active & Intelligent Packaging (A&IP) is set to be the most disruptive development to how both suppliers and consumers view and use packaging in decades. The old ‘3Ps’of protect, preserve and promote the product will be supplemented by such things as trace, authenticate, inform, add value, secure and reduce waste.

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