I started writing about excess packaging way back in 2010 and it has been something of an irritant ever since. ( You can see my earlier posts by clicking on Packaging in the TagCloud) My rants haven’t changed much. If anything there is more wrapping than ever. But here is another aspect of the subject , which is designed to keep the shoppers guessing.
I wonder what we all did before they had “sell by” dates. Come to that, who invented the idea in the first place …. and why? It certainly wasn’t the retailers, because that puts them under pressure to get things sold before the goods are not so good. That’s why their shelf stackers spend hours hiding the newest goods behind all the earlier sell by dates. But, neither can it be the purchasers because they have to scrabble about usually at the very back of the shelves to find the most up to date sell by date.
The latest retailer game is to find ever more obscure places to put the date. It used to be on the top of the tin or box, but once the customers rumbled that, the retailers quickly switched to other less convenient locations. The back of the box surrounded by masses of other information, or the side of the bottle top. Other tactics include using very small print, or printing the date in yellow on a white background. Or how about mixing up the date with a lot of other numbers just to be a bit more confusing.
It is only a matter of time before they start to use invisible ink, or maybe write the dates in Roman numerals.
Anyone would think that retailers are not sold on the idea of “ sell by “ dates.