Retailer and consumer attitudes towards active and intelligent concepts

Maria Smolander, Anne Arvola

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


    Today the most important tasks of food packages are protection of the product and mainte-nance of the product quality. Packages are also functioning as a source of information of the packed contents and as a marketing aid. In the future, advances in packaging technology will enable food packages to perform new, more advanced tasks. The package can be actively im-proving the product quality, e.g., by removing oxygen from the package headspace or by in-hibiting the growth of spoilage microorganisms. The package can also intelligently monitor and inform about the product quality. Today, these active and intelligent concepts are not yet widely adapted even if they are generally well accepted by the consumers according to the published studies available in the field. In order to direct the development of intelligent sys-tems towards concepts that are widely accepted by the whole distribution chain, knowledge about the attitudes and expectations of retailers is needed. Finnish retailers' views towards potential application of intelligent packaging systems were surveyed by VTT Biotechnology. The aim of the study was to explore factors they 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. 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, intelligent systems were seen potential causes of confusion, interpretation problems and wastage in consumer packages compared to the professional use by the retailing or in the catering services.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible
    EventFraunhofer IV Jahrestagung - Erding, Germany
    Duration: 8 Jun 20059 Jun 2005


    ConferenceFraunhofer IV Jahrestagung


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