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The barcode gives way to the QR code: what does it change?

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The barcode is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Scanned 6 billion times a day throughout the world, it has proven its success! Product identification, price display, stock and supply management: the barcode has revolutionised both the way people shop and the organisation of industry and retail.

But by 2027, it will say its goodbyes progressively and be replaced by the much more informative QR code. And that's great news for the consumer, who is always looking for more transparency on products.

At Tilkal, we have been believing in this QR code revolution for several years now! And you can find these famous little checkerboards on the products that we trace for some of our clients such as Provamel, IKKS, Cœur de Lion, Energie Fruit, Joone, Aigle, etc.

But what does it change in practice?

  • While the barcode is relative to a whole range of products, the QR code contains a URL that can include the batch number, or even a serial number. Thus it can provide access to much richer information specific to the product you have in your hands, such as flagging a product in a batch subject to a health recall... which a barcode is unable to do.

  • Thanks to the GS1 standardised 'digital link' that we store in these QR codes, our customers can dynamically share with the consumer such essential data as the origin of products and raw materials, manufacturing processes, actors involved, quality certificates and impact measurements, accessible in just 1 mobile phone scan. And these same QR codes can also contain or give access to price or product identification information, which can be read according to the tool that scans them!

So of course, we are delighted that the standard is opening up to the greatest number of people, in a spirit of creating a rich and diversified ecosystem, and for the good of both manufacturers and consumers.


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