Future Expiration Date
This project depicts a future scenario in which a dynamic expiration date is used to prevent food waste. Its goal is to spark discussion about whether our relationship to food shall be handled by technology.
Context 18 million tons of food are wasted each year in Germany alone. 10 million tons of those could be avoided.¹ In 2016 the federal minister of food and agriculture, Christian Schmidt, pleaded for the abolition of the best before date ↗ – at least for dry goods.
Challenge We did not want to confine consumers how they should store their food. We rather wanted to support them in their actions and to increase awareness of their individual habits and the shelf life of their products. We tried to find a visual language that supports these goals without patronizing them.
ConceptWe predicted technological advancements which lead to a scenario in which packages can communicate the changing conditions of its content. The long life milk is choosen as an example to illustrate use-cases.
Design research & problems
We researched problems that result in food waste and attributed them to industry, consumer or society. Observations in a package free store and an interview with its owner were helpful for defining a context of use. In general their costumers are highly ecologically aware. That's why we discarded the concept of smart reusable packaging. We continued our research with grocery shopping of food that will soon expire, collecting and recording our own waste and even going dumpster diving.