Arla Foods UK revamps its best-before labels

According to Clearmark, coding and labelling experts, nearly 500 million pints of milk are wasted every year in the UK, making it the third most wasted product in the country. A large part of this is due to consumers throwing milk away as soon as it passes the use-by date.

This has led Arla Foods UK to make the decision to switch to best-before labels from 2020, to attempt to reduce dairy waste.

It has asked milk drinkers to vote on their favourite labels, of which there are three options:

  • Check me before you chuck me!
  • Could still be great after this date
  • Check the best before date but I still may be good to enjoy after

To complement this, Arla is currently in the final phases of testing ‘mimica touch’ a type of smart label for food packaging. Developed by the Mimica Laboratory Company, it uses an indicator to tell the consumer when a product is beginning to expire. Fresh food packaging will have a smooth surface that reacts to changes in the food and temperature, causing the smooth surface to turn bumpy when it becomes spoiled.

Introducing these waste-reducing strategies is helping both the planet and business budgets in the long term. According to, many companies are underestimating the true cost of plastic waste from source to production line, such as the cost of recovered plastic versus the virgin plastic packaging options.

For more information about coding and marking solutions from Clearmark, click here.

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