Tech innovations for fresh shoppers

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New technology is presenting greater options for retailers to satisfy consumers’ increasing desire for knowledge about their food purchases, according to new market research from the vegetable industry.

The latest research report from the Project Harvest tracking study has highlighted that with the increasing convenience of smartphone and touchscreen technology, early adopter retail stores overseas are trialling trolleys with tablet computers embedded in the handle that can display product information and help shoppers find products in-store.

“Previous Project Harvest research has shown us that there’s a wide range of in-store information that consumers would find helpful when they’re making food purchases, and innovative technology use could help give shoppers what they’re after,” AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe said.

“These global trends in technological innovations could be brought to Australian stores to assist consumers and respond to Australian shoppers’ increasing demand for information about their food purchases.”

Mr Lindhe said that when it came to fresh vegetables, more than half of all Australian consumers surveyed said they would like more information about how long their food would be fresh for, or when a vegetable they were considering buying was harvested.

He added that consumers were also interested in more information on how to properly store their vegetables to get the best shelf life, or how to tell if a vegetable was fully ripe.

“In the future, retailers could integrate batch-tracking technology and interactive in-store displays to tell Australian shoppers exactly when a crop was harvested and how long it will stay fresh if stored properly, ensuring consumers get the most out of their vegetable purchases,” Mr Lindhe said.

Sainsbury’s educates fresh shoppers on companionship

UK retailer Sainsbury’s has launched the Culinary Companionship Code as part of the its ‘Waste less, save more’ campaign, helping Britons reduce food wastage.

Compiled by Product Technologists, an infographic guides shoppers through a list of perfect pairs, for example, indicates that berries and grapes are ‘firm fridge friends’, while informing that pineapples and lemons are best together, at room temperature.

Sainsbury’s says certain fruit and vegetables produce gases during ripening that can reduce the shelf life of neighbours in the fruit bowl or vegetable drawer, leading to them spoiling quicker and often ending up in the bin. The retailer adds that shoppers could save more than £100 ($184) a year just by turning their hand to “matchmaking for fruit and veg”.

The Culinary Companionship Code is available at www.wastelesssavemore.sainsburys.co.uk alongside other tips to help waste less food and save more.