GERMANY. A new phone technology trialled by the European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC) could drastically reduce the amount of text needed on packaging for items sold in duty free.

The “digital off-pack solution” enabled travellers at a Gebr Heinemann duty free store in Hamburg Airport to use their smartphones to visit the website of the ETRC. From there, they could scan the barcodes of 10 items commonly purchased in duty free, including alcohol, confectionery and perfume.

Travellers use their smartphones to access regulatory product information, saving label space for brands.

The customers could then read detailed product information for the items on their phones, including nutritional information, allergens and details of the manufacturer. The technology ensures that retailers and brands meet EU regulations without covering packaging in text.

The information was available in English, French and German. Gebr Heinemann said it planned to expand this range into the EU’s 24 languages, as well as Chinese.

Gebr Heinemann Director of Fulfilment Inken Callsen said the technology improves transparency for customers, making it easier for them to find information.

From left to right, ETRC Deputy Secretary General Julie Lassaigne, Markus Bäumer of IT platform service provider 1WorldSync, and Gebr Heinemann Project Manager Fulfilment Laura Moser.

ETRC Deputy Secretary General Julie Lassaigne said that the results would be presented to members at the upcoming ETRC Business Forum.

The technology was developed by the Travel Retail Data Innovation Group (TRDIG), an initiative of suppliers and retails from the travel retail market.