Unilever joins E-label study

Dr Peter Harrop
Unilever joins E-label study
IDTechEx is delighted to announce that Unilever, the €40bn plus consumer goods giant, has joined its multiclient study of e-labels.
This study will be driven by the participants and it will present consumers with many demonstration-of-concept samples of possible e-labels to establish what is wanted and what is affordable. For example, should electronic instructions scroll or page turn? Should drug labels that prompt the patient use flashing lights, vibration, alarm sound or speech or what combinations (major healthcare companies are being invited to join)? What tear-off electronic promotions are exciting? How many of the fourteen human senses can be employed to get attention on the supermarket shelf and enhance the brand when it is used?

Economy of scale

A central aim is to establish what consumer, industrial, healthcare and other sectors have in common in their needs for e-labels and e-packaging so the really high volumes can be achieved by economy of scale. This is a subtle process, because e-labels may be partly dedicated to purpose by the manufacturer, issuer and user. There will be a range of highest volume e-labels varying in complexity and therefore price - say from one cent to ten Euros. And it is a moving target because there needs to be a roadmap of what technologies really are ready and when - but some business can be done very soon.
Technical questions to be answered include: Can the electricity for the label be provided affordably by the new laminar batteries including printed ones and is there scope for energy harvesting from the new printed solar cells and piezoelectric film? Which suppliers in the e-label value chain really can deliver, when and at what price? What samples shall we consumer test and when?
Suppliers joining the project will work with major potential customers from the very beginning and they will be able to create one billion dollar businesses as a result, whether they are in materials, inks, component deposition or labels.
Brands participating will be able to increase sales by delighting consumers and making competing brands look very tired indeed. All intellectual property resulting will be owned by the sponsors, not IDTechEx, and the final report and samples will be exclusive to participants. Those interested in participating can obtain the proposal brochure which includes analysis of need from Dr Peter Harrop p.harrop@idtechex.com or ring Nicola Bateman or alternate on +44 (0)1223 813703.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world's leading food companies with 400 brands (including personal and home care products) worldwide, employing 179,000 people in 100 countries. Their products appear in 612 million shopping baskets every year - that's one in six.