Branston Original pickle is the first brand to trial a new smart label that is hoped to put an end to out-of-date store cupboard staples and encourage more frequent repeat repurchase.

Premier Foods, which sells 23 million jars of Branston a year, has signed the brand up for a six-month trial with Timestrip, maker of smart labels for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Products featuring the new neck-collar label will be available in Tesco from the end of December.

Consumers activate the label by pressing a small button when they open the pickle. The button opens a porous membrane that allows food-grade liquid to seep through and act as a timer, showing how many weeks a jar has been in use.

The idea is to encourage consumers to use the product for no longer than the recommended time after opening it - in Branston's case six weeks.

"We will monitor the success of the trial based on usage and increases in frequency of purchase," said a Premier Foods spokeswoman. "The result will determine what the next steps will be and whether there is potential to use Timestrips on any other brands."

Hertfordshire-based Timestrip is currently in talks with other food groups.