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Target trial tells shoppers how long 'fresh' produce has been on shelves

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If you pay a visit to the SuperTarget in Edina this weekend, you'll notice a few differences around the store.

That's because the outlet on York Ave. has been selected by the Minneapolis retailer for a pilot project designed to give shoppers more information about the fresh produce they're buying.

As the Business Journal explains, Target will charge customers different prices depending on how long the goods have been on the shelves.

Signs will be placed by the certain items of produce showing when it arrived in store, while "dynamic pricing" will be in effect. For example, a carton of raspberries that arrived on Friday (Apr. 22) is $3.99, while a carton that arrived a week earlier is $3.49.

Also located in the fresh produce section will be a pair of "smart scales," which the Star Tribune reports will ask customers what information they would like to know about the products they'll be buying – such as number of calories, how fresh they are, where they were grown, and whether they're organic.

The feedback will be used so that these smart scales can be programmed in the future to provide this sort of information to customers by scanning the barcode.

It's not just fruit and vegetables that are involved in the project either, the Journal notes Target is also trialling placing nutrition information on the front of food packaging rather than the back as part of its aims to boost transparency to shoppers.

Target started doing this at one of its stores in Fenway, Boston, last month, according to its website.

KSTP reports the idea has come from Target's Food + Future coLab based in Boston, and is borne from the contention that most consumers are not aware of the ingredients in their food or how old the produce is.

The TV station, citing USDA research, says that the average apple found on supermarket shelves is 14 months old.

Target is in the process of revitalizing its grocery section, offering more fresh and organic produce to reflect changing consumer tastes.

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