Company develops freshness sensors on packaging

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Company develops freshness sensors on packaging

By Dan Ochwat - 02/12/2020
Freshness sensors on packages can be scanned by an NFC-enabled mobile device to get a digital reading on the product's freshness as well as intelligent marketing messages.

A mobile engagement company teamed with scientists at the Imperial College of London to develop a “freshness sensor” on packages that shoppers can scan with their NFC-enabled mobile device to get an accurate reading of the product’s freshness.

The level of freshness the digital reading gives is expected to be more accurate than the preprinted expiration date applied to packages, according to TPG Rewards, New York, who built the Freshness Marketing Platform to power the sensors, giving brands and store brands that extra transparency with the consumer. The sensors can also trigger intelligent marketing experiences like coupons and recipes onto the mobile device. Messaging automatically adjusts based on the product’s shelf life.

For example, when a product is close to expiring, the consumer who scans the item will get a digital coupon with a higher value, and recipes can be curated based on the time of day the sensor is scanned or the weather outside.

TPG leaned on a methodology created by the scientists at the Imperial College of London who discovered a way to measure the freshness of foods in sealed packages based on measuring gases found within each sealed package to determine its level of freshness. The method is more accurate than a preprinted expiration date because it can account if there were changes in temperature or hiccups during the product’s journey from warehouse to store.  

More on the scientists and their method can be found in this Reuters story.


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