Israel’s Evigence Sensors’ tech will be used by Russia’s Perekrestok supermarket chain to implement the large-scale use of the Green Dot labelling system for monitoring product freshness. Ten million labels will be placed on items from the X5 Smart Kitchen assortment of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook foods, making it the largest rollout of this technology in Europe.
Food waste is a major problem throughout the world. Supermarkets everywhere throw out any items once it has passed its expiration date. More often than not, the packaged foods are still edible. But company policies require their disposal so as not to risk any civil actions related to the distribution of spoiled foods.
This prevents the donating of perfectly edible products to people in need. But it also has serious environmental consequences. The discarded products must then be processed as trash and eventually end up in landfills. Produce, dairy and meats may be biodegradable, but they release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere as they decay. And the production and distribution of all that food which goes uneaten is a tremendous waste of resources and necessitates the use of energies which cause carbon emissions.
Founded in 2001 Evigence Sensors focuses on developing and commercializing innovative, patent protected Time Temperature Indicators that meet the needs of industry mega trends and provide information regarding the traceability, safety, health and wellness of a product. Time Temperature Indicators are designed to visually indicate the true shelf-life of the product they are monitoring. They can be calibrated to suit all food and beverage types, whose shelf lives are affected by temperature, including proteins, produce, dairy products, baked goods and more.
The Green Dot label is already used to monitor the freshness of 38 ready-to-eat products delivered to 460 supermarkets across Central Russia, with the number of labelled products set to expand to 100 by the end of the year. The Green Dot label contains smart sensors indicating the current temperature of each item and its compliance with storage requirements. This enables customers and employees to monitor the freshness and storage conditions of a particular item and receive accurate information about its actual remaining shelf life.
As part of the joint project with Evigence Sensors four product packaging lines have been equipped with Green Dot label applicators, with an average of 30 Green Dot labels applied every minute.
During the pilot stage of the project carried out during November 2020, the partners updated the label design to resemble a leaf in order to make it more understandable to customers. The leaf now also changes colour depending on the remaining shelf life of the product, indicating a shelf life of three or five days. In addition, Perekrestok and Evigence are testing the possibility of having the label change colour from a bright, fresh green to a yellowish green depending on the remaining shelf life and storage conditions of the item, which would make it even more accessible to customers.
— Evigence Sensors – Visual Freshness Sensors (@EvigenceSensors) June 18, 2020
Danny Hacohen, Vice President Business Development Evigence Sensors, commented, “X5 is a worldwide leading retailer with state-of-the art innovation leadership. We are proud to team up with X5 various professional teams in the last 18 months, and excited to fully implement a large-scale roll out with X5’s Perekrestok supermarket chain, while introducing innovative new concepts in food quality and freshness.”
“Evigence sensors optimize the shelf life of products with a predesigned smart sensor attached to the products. The colour of the sensor, which changes based on temperature exposure over time, indicates the current freshness level of the product to the consumer and store associate alike. In this way, we help customers to shop and consume wisely while enjoying the best freshness and quality.”
Each sensor is specially engineered to correspond to the time-temperature effects for the food it is designed for. The sensor changes colour if the shelf life is about to expire or in case of non-compliance with storage conditions. Before labelling, the printable sensor is activated using special equipment.
The use of dynamic freshness indicator technology allows for independent monitoring of the quality and storage conditions of products by both employees and customers. This, in turn, will help to increase customer confidence in Smart Kitchen products and boost NPS for X5’s ready-to-eat product offering.
X5’s Smart Kitchen is Russia’s largest and most advanced food-to-go facility, catering to X5 supermarkets and online businesses. It produces and supplies ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook foods to more than 460 Perekrestok supermarkets, as well as more than 2,700 Pyaterochka proximity stores and 4 Karusel hypermarkets in Moscow and the Moscow region.