In packaging their products food processors are looking at smart labels as a means of communicating more information about nutrition and shelf life in a better fashion to consumers. Shelf life is a big concern given the increasing emphasis on food safety in the market.
In autumn last year Nestlé's unit in the UK began testing Timestrip's smart labels on its Maggi brand of ready-to-use cooking sauces. UK-based Timestrip markets label technology for measuring lapsed time after a product is opened.
Now Nestlé Foodservices UK will use the three-day Timestrip smart label as standard packaging on the product range, Timestrip announced in a statement.
"Although revenues are conservative in the first instance, this is a significant development for the Timestrip Group as it demonstrates the relevance of the technology as a customer focused packaging innovation," the company stated.
At the same time, Timestrip said it will embark upon another joint product development initiative with Nestle FoodServices UK. Further details will be announced later on, the company said.
"Nestle continues to lead the way in innovative product development and our partnership with Timestrip at a time of increased food hygiene regulation demonstrates our focus on providing our customers high quality products with a meaningful point of differentiation," the company stated.
Timestrips are single-use, disposable, smart-labels, which automatically monitor lapsed time, ranging from under one day to six months.
Timestrip's smart labels contain a liquid which migrates across the label, allowing users of perishable food and other products to monitor for how long an item has been open or in use. The technology can be implemented as an external label or can be fully integrated into products and product packaging.
At the time trials began last fall, Mike Carter, Nestlé's innovations manager, said the technology would help restaurants and caterers to manage their perishable foods with confidence and ease.
"Applied to product packaging and factory activated, Timestrips can augment the existing range and multitude of static dates that are provided in an inconsistent format on the product," he stated.
Timestrip has previously announced deals with Ocado, an online grocery supplier, and with Germany-based Crown Zeller, a packaging company.
Shares in Timestrip rose more than 20 per cent this week after Nestlé confirmed it would begin the roll out as part of the standard packaging for the Maggi brand.