Delhaize Belgium took a big step to strengthen its commitment to sustainable retailing by reducing unnecessary packaging on organic fruits and vegetables. The brand announced earlier this month that it is using an innovative new process called "natural branding" that applies a label directly to the peel of fruits and vegetables using a laser.

This safe, natural, environmentally friendly method allows letters or a logo to appear on the products' skin without affecting taste, smell or shelf life. Better still, it eliminates the need to individually wrap organic fruits and vegetables, which are typically covered in plastic film to distinguish them from conventional fruits and vegetables that are sold in bulk. The potential payoff? Reducing waste by 13 tons per year.

Delhaize is already using the technology to label organic butternut squash with a new "bio" label and the brand's lion logo,  and it expects to add more organic items by this summer, including zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, celeriac and fennel.

In addition to reducing packaging and waste, other benefits are:

  • No glue, ink, paper, liquid or any other materials
  • Lower energy costs to make the natural mark rather than producing stickers or packaging
  • No need for stickers on fruits or vegetables