The packaging industry is developing smart new packaging solutions for the retail market. Especially for fresh product a smart label or a digital display integrated within the packaging could show the consumer the freshness and quality of the product. A milk package could show you when it is not a good idea to drink it anymore.
Another example is this hourglass-shaped freshness label for meat products (designed by To-Genkyo). The label contains special ink that changes its color based on the amount of ammonia emitted by the meat (the older the meat, the more ammonia it releases). Like an hourglass, the bottom half of the label “fills up” as the meat ages. Consumers can judge the product’s freshness at a glance.
When the meat is no longer suitable for sale, the ink blocks the barcode at the bottom so that it cannot be scanned at the cash register.
The Freshness Label was presented at the Good Design Expo known as one of the leading design events in Asia. The event showcases thousands of well-designed products under consideration for the year’s Good Design Awards. Over 2,000 items ranging from consumer electronics, automobiles and furniture to office equipment, building designs and sporting goods were exhibited at this year’s event, which was held at Tokyo Big Sight in August 2009.