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What Are the Uses of QR Codes for Food & Product Packaging?

Using a QR code, packaging is an opportunity to provide customers with more information than ever before. Learn more about how to use QR codes on product packaging.

Why placing a QR code on packaging matters.

Placing QR codes on product packaging is an effective marketing tool because QR code scanning is fast, simple and takes the customer directly to your information. Whether your goal is to receive customer feedback, promote your social media, provide nutritional information or simply make it easy to reach out to customer support, adding a QR code that leads to your specific information boosts the value of your packaging.

QR codes and different types of packaging.

Depending on the industry, product or service, there are multitudes of branding opportunities in every type of packaging.

Below are three types of packaging:

Primary packaging.

The primary type of packaging is the container that holds the product itself. Products can come in paper, carton, cardboard, plastic, glass or metal containers. Labels on these may need to include ingredients list, expiration date and warning symbols. Also, they need to be visually appealing and recognizable to the end user. Examples include canned goods, toothpaste tubes, perfume bottles, and candle jars.

There are many opportunities to use QR codes on packaging of this type, especially because the consumer holds onto it for a long time. If you want customers to know about how your product was made, you can include a series of videos regarding the product.

Secondary packaging.

This type supports the primary packaging and refers to the container that holds the product indirectly. It is the box that holds a pack of medicine tablets or tray and shrink wrap around a pack of cans. Like primary packaging, labels on these may need to contain information such as ingredients list and expiration date.

There are endless opportunities to use QR codes on secondary packaging solutions. You can link to your online promotion or sweepstakes or lead consumers to your step-by-step tutorial so that they know how to use your product properly.

Tertiary packaging.

Generally used for grouping items together, tertiary packaging solutions include pallets, corrugated boxes and cartons. While the purpose is mainly for transporting, this type of packaging can still be used for brand marketing. A QR code on your transport boxes is a great way to let people know what kind of company you are.

Empowering consumers and building brands.

In general, QR codes for customers to scan have become a common sight on American food packaging, and a scheme called Smart Label has played a key role in their rise.

This scheme has brought together more than 30 different food manufacturers (as well as shampoo and cosmetics brands). It provides instant information about ingredients, calories, allergens in accredited products - giving customers more power about what they eat and drink.

It just shows that scannable QR codes can be used in multiple ways, with the potential to protect brands against controversy and help customers with their shopping at the same time.

Helping new brands.

The benefits of QR codes aren’t restricted to big business. In fact, they probably have more potential for small and medium sized food brands, which often desperately need a way to differentiate themselves from the herd. A QR code can be a great, simple way to do so.

Think about salads. Transparent boxes of arugula aren’t easy to market. Customers know that some arugula is spicier, fresher and more peppery than others, but in the store those differences are hard to detect. What they need is a way to connect with specific salad brands, allowing them to tell the story of their arugula, and why it beats the competition.

That’s how new company Classic Salads of California’s Salinas Valley used them. QR codes were added to box labels and linked to a mobile optimized landing page full of relevant information about arugula.

5 tips for QR code design on packaging.

  1. Add color. Color is the easiest way to make QR codes stand out. Play around with your brand or campaign theme colors to make your QR Code appealing to scan.
  2. Include a call to action. For better chances of more scans, include a call to action so consumers know what content they’ll receive on QR code scan.
  3. Print big. In general, QR codes should be at least 2 x 2 centimeters (around 0.8 x 0.8 inches) in size. It is always better to be on the safe side and print the code bigger on your packaging. Avoid printing on edges that cut off your QR Code or on uneven surfaces that would distort the image to avoid making it unscannable.
  4. Consider placement. Placing QR codes next to barcodes can also make it difficult to scan. If you have both types of codes on your packaging, place one on a different side from the other.
  5. Inspect material. Since packaging can come in a variety of materials, be wary of choosing one that reflects too much light since this also competes with the scannability of your QR code. Whichever type of packaging you decide to print your QR codes on, it’s important to use the best resolution available. Professional printers will need high-quality images, so provide your QR code image in .eps format by downloading it directly from your account dashboard. And especially with costly, high volume print jobs, always request proofs to test scan before printing to avoid any mishaps. For more valuable tips, please read our QR Code Printing Guidelines & Best Practices.

Insights with real time analytics.

After your campaign starts, Delivr tracks performance - how many times, when, where and with what devices.  All information is presented in the form of easy-to-understand graphs and charts. The statistics also include raw data tables, downloadable in CSV format.

Straightforward reports display everything you need to know about your campaigns in real time. After the campaign starts, Delivr tracks performance - how many times, when, where and with what devices.  You can link one web address/landing page with many different Short URLs or QR codes. Then, you can truly measure the effectiveness of your campaign through different communication channels. Our clear and simple reports are designed for people not specialists allowing anyone to turn insights into action and plan future programs. All information is presented in the form of easy-to-understand graphs and charts. Need to do some serious number crunching? You can also export your data to an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis.

Track campaign performance by placement, time, location, referrer, browser language and type of device. City-level IP & Street-level GPS Location Reports. Private & secure click metrics. Export report data. Integration with Google Analytics.

Need a QR code for your product packaging?

Delivr® is a privacy-first software and services company serving thousands of businesses looking to drive audiences from offline to online experiences. Established in 2008, Delivr has developed software to track and visualize consumer engagement with print and broadcast media, labels and packaging. With Super Simple Serialization℠ and TrueMrk®, Delivr is extending its MarTech product suite to serialize and authenticate products. Headquartered in New York.