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New Technology Cuts Food Waste And Overspending At Grocery Stores

By Maressa Brown

When you go grocery shopping, you generally assume that the price labels on the shelves, products, and the promotional tags throughout the store are fully on-point. But, as evidenced by an investigation back in February that found UK grocery chain Tesco had overcharged more than two-thirds of its customers by advertising out-of-date promotions, those traditional paper price tags can be thoroughly off-base.

What's more, in the Tesco case, the promos were outdated and invalid, so customers who thought they were being offered multi-buy deals were actually being charged once they got to the check-out. And of course, the other unnerving layer to all of this: Shoppers were purchasing more items than they probably would have otherwise and possibly wasting food.

Thankfully, this debacle has inspired some to think about how we can avoid similar headaches down the road. The UK chief executive of a company called SES-imagotag tells The Independent that while most retailers can only guarantee that one in 10 of their products are priced correctly on shelves, there's a solution: electronic shelf labels, or ESLs.