22 May 2018

X5 to test three innovative labelling technologies for quality control

Moscow, 22 May 2018 – X5 Retail Group (“X5” or the “Company”), a leading Russian food retailer (LSE and MOEX ticker: FIVE), is testing three unique labelling technologies: two types of colour-changing labels that warn if the required storage or transportation temperatures have not been maintained, and barcodes that prevent the sale of expired products.

X5 will take part in developing and piloting a new solution aimed at identifying expired goods using temperature-sensitive indicators. These “chameleon” labels will inform customers and store employees if there were any temperature issues during transportation or storage. The technology is especially useful when it comes to frozen goods, as the label will irreversibly change colour if the product thaws. Tomsk State University (TSU) students who have been collaborating with X5 since 2016 to develop this solution. The joint project to develop and test temperature-sensitive labels marks a new stage in the retailer’s and university’s R&D partnership.

The second type of temperature-sensitive “chameleon” label will allow customers to keep track of a product’s actual freshness. Incorrect storage can reduce a product’s shelf life, so in order to accurately reflect the current state of temperature-sensitive goods, X5 will use special labels that change colour at different speeds depending on the temperature. For instance, at +4°C a colour-changing label will grow dark in six days, while at +6°C the process will take four and a half days. This technology will give customers reliable information on product quality and safety, while also enabling employees to keep fresh goods on the shelves and address issues with storage conditions across the supply chain. X5 started piloting these labels in May 2018, with the first tests involving items packaged in-store like confectionaries and cheese.

The third quality control solution tested by X5 is barcodes that block the sale of expired goods. Together with several suppliers, the Company launched a project to sell fresh and ultra-fresh products using the EAN 13+5 barcode with information on the product’s shelf life. This will prevent the sale of expired goods, which will be discarded at checkout. The technology is now being tested in 200 Pyaterochka stores in Moscow and the Moscow region.

X5 is committed to ensuring the safety and high quality of its products at each stage of their life, from production to checkout. End-to-end quality control with the use of modern technologies is impossible without contributions from suppliers and producers, which is why X5 encourages and considers various technological improvements proposed by food producers to strengthen and automate quality control.  ​