Food handling practices and expiration dates: Consumers’ perception of smart labels

Barone, Ada Maria and Aschemann-Witzel, Jessica. 2022. Food handling practices and expiration dates: Consumers’ perception of smart labels. Food Control, 133(Part B), 108615. ISSN 0956-7135 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Household food waste is a major sustainability problem to solve. Smart labels can alleviate the contributing factor of incorrect interpretation of expiration date labels. However, so far little research has studied consumer handling practices and perceptions of such labels in the context of use. We address this through a qualitative, asynchronous and text-based focus group study with 18 UK smart label early adopter and mainstream consumers, using the case of smart labels on red meat packaging. Results show that consumers are heavily reliant on either expiration date or their own senses, and that trust in the label is a key factor towards including smart labels in everyday food handling practices. Findings imply that in-store demonstrations and information would support and foster uptake of smart labels.

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Additional Information:

This study was supported by EIT Food ( through the project “Scale-up and deployment of Mimica Touch labels to be universally compatible across various brand packaging formats” (grant number: 21092, EIT Food Business Plan 2021).


Food waste, Expiration dates, Smart labels, Food handling practices

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


11 October 2021Accepted
12 October 2021Published Online
March 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

15 Nov 2021 10:24

Last Modified:

15 Nov 2021 10:24

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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