Sometimes reading or finding the product expiry date drive me nuts.
The engrave effect. I examined this expiry date for quite a while but I was not able to read it clearly. I wonder which is blurred, my eyesight or the engrave letters. The black letters over the glossy surface can be read clearly and the expiry date should be written this way.
The mimic. I turned the bottle several times before I found the expiry date. The expiry date was hiding like a chameleon. It mimicked the transparent color of PET bottle. I tried finding the same on a 6-liter size PET. I spent almost one minute searching.
Long and vague code. It read 19 April then 9U11004. Anyone know the meaning of “9U11004”? Anyone please enlighten me!
Omission of spaces and separators. The expiry date is the lower code, BBOCT0612. It means Best before October 6, 2012. Why it was confusing? The letter “O” and the number “0” looks alike except the first is wider than the latter. And because the code contains no spaces or separator, It can be read as “bocto” or “octo”. The meaning would be clearer with spaces or separators – BB/OCT/06/12 or BB OCT 06 12.
Written on package bottom.The expiry date declaration is large and clear but it is written on can bottom. The technique is fine for small package. Holding and flipping it over do not matter. However, flipping a large can might be a pain for younger generation and elderly.
Rotation or misalignment . Notice the three lines, Lot No, Exp Date and Mfg Date are written vertically and the dates and number values are written horizontally. Anyone might think that the expiry date is 7/2011. Making mistakes is natural and cannot be avoided at all times. Misalignment of texts increases the chances of making mistakes.
Removable. Do you see expiry dates on tanzans. No. I remember seeing expiry dates written on sofdrinks crown. I just can’t find one when I need it. What is wrong with this idea? When buying sofdrinks, the store personnel will open the bottle for you and you have no chance to see the date of expiry.
Candies and bubble gums. The declaration is usually written on secondary packaging. The store staff will open the pack and transfer it to bottle or in candy glass cabinets. Where can you find the expiry date then?
Too small and cut off. Sometimes, expiry dates are too small. Magnifying glass is needed to read it. The worst, it is unreadable because a part was cut of. You gonna experience this scenario when buying medicine tablets or capsules.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.