With currently 1.9 million slices of ham being wasted each day in the UK, Sainsbury’s hopes the new ‘Smart Fresh’ label will reduce the waste.
It works by changing colour from yellow to purple the longer the package has been open, indicating the freshness — and the edibility — of the product inside.
It is believed an open pack of ham that is kept below five degrees Celsius has the longest shelf life.
The UK is the worst European country for wasting food, with approximately £17 billion of food going to waste each year.
Confusion surrounding food date labels and concerns over food safety significantly contribute to food waste by misleading consumers to throw away food prematurely.
Jane Skelton, head of packaging at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’ve all been there; when we’ve found a pack of ham loitering on the bottom shelf of the fridge and can’t remember how long it’s been opened for.
“We want to find a way to reduce waste of this family favourite while helping customers save money.”
The move builds on the retailer’s £10 million Waste Less, Save More initiative, a five-year strategy which seeks to reduce household food waste across the UK.
It is hoped the smart label packaging could be expanded to other products, if it proves to be a success.