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Grocer pilots laser-labeled mangoes to minimize plastic packaging

SPAR mango label
SPAR initially piloted laser-labeled avocados, but scrapped the program due to “under-developed technology.” The new mangoes are laser-labeled to reduce plastic and correctly identify organic. (PHOTO: SPAR)

PRESS RELEASE: SPAR Austria has introduced laser-labelled organic mangoes to EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores throughout the country to replace plastic stickers. The initiative will save on tonnes of coated plastic labels every year.

Two years ago, SPAR Austria received a lot of positive feedback for trialling lasered organic avocados in-store. Problems with the rough shell of the fruit and under-developed technology initially put a halt to using this option, but the laser labels remained an interesting choice for branding. Now, after further intensive development and more testing, the first organic mangoes with laser labeling are available in all EUROSPAR and INTERSPAR stores in Austria.

SPAR Austria CEO, Gerhard Drexel, is delighted with this development saying: “Thanks to the laser labels on mangoes, we can guarantee the separation of organic and conventional fruit without the use of stickers. We are preparing to do the same for other fruit and veg, such as pomegranates, kiwis, avocados and sweet potatoes. This will save thousands of plastic stickers every day. Our aim going forward is to offer the entire range of SPAR Natur* pur organic fruit and vegetables unpacked or sustainably packaged.”

SPAR Austria has successfully implemented its campaign, Save on plastics with SPAR, drawing customers’ attention to plastic-free or plastic-reduced options.

Avoid, reduce and recycle is the focus of SPAR Austria’s plastic reduction programme, with about 40% of its fruit and veg offering already free of packaging. The SPAR Partner also offers reusable fruit & veg nets and compostable paper bags instore.

Biodegradable packaging for organic fruit and veg has become common practice, but work is still needed for other produce. To help in this area, SPAR customers in Austria can now bring their own boxes to delicatessen counters, saving on throw-away packaging for deli cheese and meat.

SPAR Austria also allows customers to return empty bottles in stores throughout the country, offering mineral water, beer, fruit juices, and dairy products in returnable bottles.