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Brief Published: 21 Aug 2018

Sensory Signals in Packaging Help Prevent Waste

Mimica Touch

Consumers’ uncertainty around food and product spoilage is a huge contributing factor to the omnipresent waste problem, with the average UK household throwing away £470 ($597) worth of food annually, according to sustainability experts Wrap. Sensory signals are being incorporated into packaging solutions to aid consumers’ decision-making and reduce product waste. We highlight two innovative new developments.

  • Harnessing Olfactory Experiences: US packaging manufacturer Tekni-Plex has developed a scent-permeating closure liner that allows consumers to smell a product’s contents before purchase – without affecting the seal or compromising the contents. Called Sniff Seal, the patented technology could help prevent product wastage due to tampered seals. It’s suitable for use with food, beverages, personal care and cosmetic products.

    The liner also offers the opportunity for brands to enhance product differentiation and customer purchasing experiences through scent. For more on sensorial experiences with scent, see Exploring Scent Communication and Mood-Enhancing Shaving Creams.

  • Textured Safety Signals: Danish dairy company Arla is introducing a gelatine-based gel label that becomes bumpy when products inside have gone off. The labels are designed to deteriorate at the same rate as the product, reacting to changes in the packaged food and surrounding temperature.

    The innovation, by London-based food tech start-up Mimica Touch, could reduce unnecessary waste by discouraging consumers from throwing away food prematurely.

    For more on tactile, sensory-focused packaging solutions, see Luxe Pack New York 2018 – Sensory Packaging.

See our Packaging Futures: Sustainability report for more sustainable and waste-reducing packaging options. We also explore multisensory design for branding in our Spotlight Trend report The Sensory Opportunity