Ever wanted to know how long that avocado, mango or eggplant has been sitting on the supermarket shelf? The humble shopping trolley could have the answer.
Cutting-edge technology embedded into trolleys could, in the not-to-distant future, give Aussie shoppers priceless fruit and veg information like harvest time and freshness, according to industry body AUSVEG.
AUSVEG said high-tech smartphone and touchscreen products built into trolleys were being used overseas to "display product information and help shoppers find products in-store", and were likely to head down under.
“There’s a wide range of in-store information that consumers would find helpful when they’re making food purchases, and innovative technology use could help give shoppers what they’re after,” AUSVEG spokesman Shaun Lindhe said.
“These global trends in technological innovations could be brought to Australian stores to assist consumers and respond to Australian shoppers’ increasing demand for information about their food purchases.”
Lindhe said future in-store tech would help show Australian shoppers exactly when a crop was picked and how long it would stay fresh, if stored properly.
Other high-tech innovations headed our way included consumers scanning barcodes at "specialised kiosks" then having the products delivered directly to their home, AUSVEG said.
Lindhe said the future of fruit and veg shopping was all about empowering consumers.
"When it comes to fresh vegetables, for example, more than half of all Australian consumers would like more information about how long their food will be fresh for, or when the vegetable they’re holding was harvested,” he said.
“They’re also interested in more information on how to properly store their vegetables to get the best shelf-life, or how to tell if a vegetable is fully ripe.”
In the meantime, shoppers keen to get the most life out of their fruit and vegetables should ensure they're storing them properly.
This neat infographic, which helps consumers with where to keep produce in the kitchen, could help.
Each year Australians waste about $10 billion worth of food, starting at the farm where produce is thrown out for cosmetic reasons, right through to being discarded at home.