DESIRE FOR AWARENESS: FROM THE BARCODE TO THE NEW GS1 QR-CODE IN 2027
The new QR code will contain more data than can be read with the barcode in use today.
More and more consumers are complaining about the lack of product information and are asking producers and brands for access to information on origin, history, and sustainability. This information enables consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing goods.
Product information: consumers desire to know more
A study on animal welfare labeling conducted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety found that EU consumers have a low level of awareness of the conditions under which animals are raised and treated within the food chain, with two-thirds of European consumers believing that the information available to them on animal welfare is insufficient to make truly critical choices.
Then, according to a survey by Infant Formula, 93% of Chinese mothers say that the information on baby product packaging is insufficient, so the desired information often has to be sought through other channels.
In general, according to a study published in Sustainable Production and Consumption, 80% of consumers stated that they could not always interpret the information on the label, expressing a desire for more content for greater awareness.
To meet this growing need and to also provide data on product traceability and safety (e.g., batch number and expiry date), from 2027, the traditional barcode, which just this year turns 50, will be subsumed by the new technology that will contain structured data according to the GS1 standard, the non-profit organisation that develops global standards for communication between companies.
What’s new in the GS1 QR code which will replace the barcode from 2027?
The new QR code, whose full name will be QR Code with GS1 Digital Link, will contain more data than can be read with the barcode in use today: in addition to the GS1 identification code already present in today’s barcode, for example, there will be details of the product manufacturer’s site, identifiers for the automation of logistics processes, consumer information such as composition, supply chain data and nutritional values. Plus, expiry date verification and recalls, and consumer engagement initiatives such as prize competitions and point collections.
The accessibility and richness of information will bring transparency to the entire value chain, help build trust between consumers, producers, and all those involved in the supply chain, and improve the processes of traceability, inventory management, product recalls, and cost control.
Into this changing scenario come the traceability solutions, hardware, and software of Antares Vision Group – a technology partner in the digitalisation of products and supply chains for companies and institutions – that enable transparency of the supply chain from producers to end users, fight phenomena such as counterfeiting and parallel markets, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
“Technologies have evolved and today traceability and the digital identity created for each product bring not only quality and safety along the entire supply chain but also more information to the end consumer – says Emidio Zorzella, Chariman and Co-CEO of Antares Vision Group – Digitalisation is aimed at controlling the movement of manufactured goods and makes it possible to combat counterfeiting, a phenomenon that heavily impacts markets as well as consumer safety”.