From the supermarket with no employees to “tattooing” fruits and vegetables with a laser, Swedish enterprises are stepping their supermarket game up. Say goodbye to stick-on labels that ruin the taste of your product and welcome plastic-free laser branding.
Named ‘natural branding’, this hi-tech formula is set to create enormous savings in plastic, energy and CO2 emissions, while keeping your food tasty. Currently in use to brand organic avocados and sweet potatoes, Swedish supermarket chain ICA started using low-energy carbon dioxide lasers to imprint the skin of fruits and vegetables last year. The chain, which has 1.350 stores across the country, aims to replace the current stickers and packaging system with this technique to brand its organic products. Fun fact: Marks & Spencer is also using it on their coconuts in the UK. After an unsuccessful trial on lemons, the store found that the citrus skin ‘healing’ ability led to the ineffectiveness of the treatment.
Laser labeling has been used in Australia and New Zealand since 2009 and was first approved for use in European Union countries in 2013. With the UK and Sweden leading the way, it should be a matter of time for other countries to follow. While ICA currently limits the technique only to avocados and sweet potatoes, branded broccoli and engraved eggplants may as well be next. We cannot wait to get tribal-tattooed tomatoes on our plate!