The carton packaging and filling machine specialist noted an increasing take up of the two-dimensional black and white square matrixes on food packs.
When scanned with smart phones, the QR codes provide consumers with direct access to digitally stored data on product information, promotions and competitions.
While food giants such as Nestle, Kellogg and Cadbury have already started using the codes, supermarkets and even regulatory bodies such as the European Union are waking up to the possibilities the technology presents.
Earlier this month, Brussels announced the launch of a new project to provide impartial data on food labels via QR codes on the functionality of various ingredients, traceability, quality of raw materials and sustainability.
Herman Koëter, chair of the project team, said the partnership is already collaborating with a software company on technology that will allow consumers to scan 3D barcodes on food packaging using smart phones or in-store scanners to reach a platform with data not directly provided by the brand owner.
Last week, UK supermarket chain the Co-operative Group said it was the first major retailer to introduce QR codes onto selected fresh produce packaging.
Customers will be able to learn about the background of the produce, where it has been grown, as well as information of the growers, nutritional data and recipes.
“Customers want to know what they are buying, where it’s from and how it got here,” said Helen Bridgett, head of food strategy at the firm. “QR codes present an opportunity to raise awareness and provide them with an easy way to access information.”
And it is precisely the ability to access information quickly and conveniently via a QR application on mobile phones that is proving to be a major trend driving growth, said SIG.
“Consumers are increasingly embracing the ability to obtain genuine added benefits in the form of additional information, with minimal effort,“ said Martin Herrenbrück, company head of global marketing and business development.”The mobile network offers a vast range of possibilities for this. And we are only just beginning to discover what this technology is capable of.“
He noted that it is not just the megabrands that are exploring QR codes, with outfits like Macedonia-based Mlekara AD Bitola using them on one of its fruit juices to a website and Facebook page.
Spanish company J. García Carrión is taking a similar approach to QR codes – to promote promotional and social media links.
“Surveys show that consumer interest in the mobile internet is growing,” said
José García Carrión, company president and owner. “This applies above all to young consumers, and in respect of QR codes our main focus is currently on this target group. The codes on the packages open up a lot of new possibilities for addressing consumers within specific target groups”.