Swedish supermarket ICA claims to have become the first grocery chain in the country to laser mark fruits and vegetables.
The new branding method will enable the company to do away with branded packaging and stickers, and the company hopes that the new technique will prove to be more sustainable and improve traceability.
ICA has begun testing the method on organic avocados and sweet potatoes. The new sustainability marking is done directly on the skin using a laser that changes the pigment on the skin, so that the product’s name, country of origin and PLU code are seen clearly. With this method the marking follows the fruit or vegetable through the entire supply chain in a secure manner.
Peter Hägg, head of the Fruit and Vegetables product range at ICA Sweden, said: “It’s great that we can now use new technology to get better marking from an environmental perspective.
“This way, organic products do not need to be kept separate from others. Since the marking is on each item, there is no need for stickers, trays or cellophane wrap around the product. We estimate that we will save more than 200 kilometres of cellophane wrap per year just by marking our avocados in this way. The total effect is substantial.”
With a focus on food and meals, ICA has about 1,300 stores throughout Sweden.