Attitudes and expectations of retailers towards intelligent packaging systems

Maria Smolander, Anne Arvola

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


    Finnish retailers' views towards potential application of intelligent packaging systems were studied in 2003 by VTT Biotechnology. The driving force for the study was the fact that even if indicators monitoring the time-temperature history of the product storage are already commercially available they are not yet widely adapted. In order to direct the development of intelligent systems towards concepts which are widely accepted by the whole distribution chain, knowledge about the attitudes and expectations of retailers is needed. The aim of the VTT Biotechnology study was to explore factors the retailers perceive as benefits or drawbacks in the application of intelligent packaging. The main part of the data consisted of 33 personal interviews producing qualitative information on the application of three types of intelligent packaging systems (time-temperature indicators, leak indicators and freshness indicators) applied either to consumer packages or to packages for retail or institutional kitchens. Retailers' attitudes towards the implementation of intelligent packaging concepts were predominantly positive. These concepts were expected to have a positive effect on the quality and safety of packaged food products. Intelligent packaging concepts were perceived to be most beneficial as additional and complementing aids in the safety management of the retailers. Many potential problems were also identified. However most of the respondents did not consider these as major obstacles for implementation. The attitudes towards the use of intelligent systems in consumer packages were more inconsistent. On one hand, consumers were believed to value the information provided by the intelligent systems and these systems were perceived to improve consumer service. On the other hand, many interviewees feared that intelligent systems in consumer packages might cause confusion, interpretation problems and wastage. The problems were perceived more likely in the case of consumer packages than in the case of professional use at the retailer or in the catering services. The results of the study will be reported more detailed in scientific conferences and papers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number4
    JournalNordic network on advanced sustainable Food Manufacturing
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    MoE publication typeD1 Article in a trade journal


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