Lasering is the newest in fruit labelling

Avocados with laser-printed labels go on sale from today at M&S in a bid to cut paper waste

Avocado lasering proves to a more cost effective and eco-friendly method of fruit labelling

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22 June 2017 | 0

In the UK and Ireland first, M&S is launching a unique method of laser labelling on avocados in stores from today. The innovative lasering method is a cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative to traditional stickering.

Moving from stickering to lasering will save the retailer 10 tonnes of labels and backing paper and 5 tonnes of adhesive every year on avocados alone. In addition, the production uses less energy so the carbon footprint will be much lower.

The cutting-edge laser technology works by shining intense light onto the fruit’s skin which retracts back and discolours only the very top layer. This is not destructive to the fruit and can be very precise. The avocados will be lasered with the M&S logo, best before date, country of origin and product code for entering at the till. M&S has a history of innovative packaging and has worked hard to reduce overall packaging in the food department by 25%.

Charlotte Curtis, M&S fruit technologist, says: “When we first saw the technology in Sweden a couple of years ago, I knew we had to get involved. We’ve been following it for a while and are so excited to finally be launching it on avocados. Sustainability is at the heart of our business and the laser labeling is a brilliant way for us to reduce packaging and energy use.”

M&S first introduced avocados back in 1968 as an ‘Avocado Pear’ which people would enjoy as a dessert with custard. Demand for avocados is increasing every year – last year M&S sold 12 million avocados and sales are up for the product by +29% on the year.

Miss Curtis continues: “Providing all goes well with the avocado lasering, we could look at rolling the technology out to all sorts of other fruit and vegetables in the future. We have the potential to reduce packaging exponentially which is very exciting. Watch this space!”

The laser labelled avocados are available now in selected M&S stores.

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