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National Runner Up


We cherish food from our hearts and hope that our design can reduce food waste and contribute to the goal of zero hunger on the planet.

What it does

“Barcodiscount” color-changing stickers display different discounts in sections according to the approaching expiration date and a small part of the barcode will also change. The design will save time and labor costs.

Your inspiration

Fresh supermarkets promote fresh products nearing expiration dates to avoid waste of ingredients. But we often see that supermarkets staff need to manually paste discount stickers at a fixed time point to promote products nearing the expiration date. The process is time-consuming and laborious. When customers took the discounted goods at checkout, the counter staff ever neglected to enter the discount and sold it at the original price. If the color of the discount can be changed on the same label according to the set time, there is no need to paste labels repeatedly, so we think of color-changing ink technology.

How it works

“Barcodiscount” color-changing labels will change color with time section within a specific temporal range. The discount offered by time and color changed, and part of the barcode will disappear to reduce management processes. At check out, the counter staff directly scans the discount price. The backend replenishment system can aggregate the inventory balance of goods through similar barcodes. Timing color-changing labels need to be activated. In our design concept, the timing is activated at the same time when the label is attached with the handheld labeling machine. The bottom layer is no discount and becomes 20% off. The upper layer is transparent and becomes a white background with the words 40% off, while covering the bottom layer. Barcodiscount only needs one sticker, and it reduces the burden on staffs’ workload and increases efficiency.

Design process

We want to solve the problems of consumers, cashiers, replenishment and system backend management through the integration of small labels to eliminate the problems of each user. The first problem is that it takes a while for staffs to stick the discount label in front of the shelf, causing consumers to wait for the job to be completed before making a purchase. The second is that the clerk forgot to enter the discount at the checkout, which caused the trouble of the refund procedure. We reviewed relevant literature. 88% of customers would buy goods with a longer shelf life from the shelves. It causes goods close to the shelf life to be wasted due to expiration. The results shows that a quarter of customers respondent, “I think there is an incentive” to buy products with a discount. Buying discounted goods reduced waste by an average of 33%, while revenues increased by an average of 6.3%. We have arranged different layouts to maximize the "discount" to make it clearly. Regarding the color-changing technology, we use the existing technology in Taiwan to make timing color-changing production. However, it is difficult to achieve double layer changes and printing. Now we will do a fixed single color change in the overlapping color block area to realize two color change effects.

How it is different

Our color change idea does not use the acid and alkali changes in the meat deterioration process to change the color of the sticker. The technology may examine the freshness of meat, but the disadvantage is that the meat has actually deteriorated and is not suitable for sale. Instead, the Barcodiscount design concept is that in the process of printing labels, the designated printing block is set at a precise time. The time can be set from 30 seconds to 30 days. Therefore, with the time setting of 20% and 40% off, the timing of the color change can be accurately set. We have discovered that the current color-changing timing technology on the market requires a button to start the timing. Our design concept is that the handheld label pasting machine begins timing when the label is applied.

Future plans

At present, the problems of the existing paper materials and color-changing pigments all need to be set and printed in the same printing manufacturer in order to reduce the deterioration of the sticker transportation process. We hoped that the future color-changing printing technology can make breakthroughs, so that the idea of color-changing in the same section on the paper can be realized. At present, color-changing technology in Taiwan is mature, but there are not many designs applied to life scenario. Our team will continue to pay attention to the color-changing technology development, hoping that the idea “Barcodiscount” can be realized.


The project won the “Best of the year” of iF Design Talent Award 2020_1, and won the prize money EUR 3,000.

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