Avocados with laser-printed barcodes are going on sale at retail giant Marks and Spencers (M&S) as part of a drive to reduce paper waste. The labels are now being etched onto the fruit's skin with lasers rather than using stickers. It is estimated that this will save 10 tonnes of paper and five tonnes of glue every year. These fruit engraving lasers could soon be adopted by other big brand chains that are looking to reduce their waste production.
So how does fruit engraving work? It works by shining intense light onto the avocado's skin, which retracts back and discolors only the very top layer, meaning it does not damage the fruit.
M&S fruit technologist Charlie Curtis said: "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." Mr Curtis added: "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."
In addition to M&S other brands are now jumping on the engraving band wagon.
As one of the best-selling brands of bourbon in the world, Jim Beam's products are popular amongst a variety of individuals - from those who enjoy the liquor to those looking to gather paraphernalia to add to their collections, to those just want to give a unique gift to someone.
With high demand for customization of its bottles, glassware, barrel staves and barrel heads, the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse turned to laser engraving to give these items a special signature look.
Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse uses laser engravers to customize products for birthdays, marathons, Father's Day, retirement parties, corporate events and much more. Customization has become a popular business for the store located in Louisville, Ky. - so much so that it's laser-engraving 60 bottles a day on average.
When a marathon or other special event is occurring in Louisville that number can jump to 700 bottles on any given weekend. Plus they are engraving at least one barrel head a day and about five to six barrel staves.
The Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse has expanded its use for laser engraving to cutting out Christmas tree ornaments. These are bottle ornaments that can be hung on a tree. They also make other items like refrigerator magnets and barrel bone placeholders.
This is just one of numerous beverage suppliers that are turning to laser engraving as a way to customize products, expand brand loyalty, and provide an easy way to make ordinary beverage accessories and in-house products unique.
The growth of laser engraving in the beverage industry is the result of these companies providing customers and businesses with the value-added capability that goes beyond a traditional bottle or decanter. Instead, a customized product is developed that gives a more personal touch while at the same time expanding brand devotion and opening new sources of revenue.
Laser engravers work on a variety of materials including organics, metal, jewelry, wood, cork, glass, fabric, acrylic and much more.
If you have a need for an engraver, contact Laserglow's technical sales department and they will be happy to suggest an appropriate product for the material you are trying to engrave on.
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