SmartLabel is an initiative by US food, beverage, and consumer companies to promote transparency about their products. Through this initiative, participating companies will add a SmartLabel QR Code on their product packaging that will redirect to product information useful to consumers.
What is a SmartLabel QR Code?
To provide shoppers more information about the products they are purchasing, each product will have a SmartLabel QR Code. This QR Code can be scanned using a smartphone, which leads the shopper to a landing page.
A QR Code is a 2D barcode that can store information such as URLs, text, and contact information.
What information does it lead to?
The SmartLabel landing page of each product will have that product’s information in a consistent format.
For food products, SmartLabel provides information on nutrition, ingredients, allergens and other information such as certifications
For non-food consumer products, SmartLabel™ includes things such as ingredients, usage instructions, advisories and handling information
SmartLabel has been started by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), manufacturers and retailers to allow people to make informed decisions about the products they purchase.
“People want more information and are asking more questions about products they buy, use and consume, and SmartLabel™ puts detailed information right at their fingertips” – Pamela G. Bailey, President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association
Which companies are participating?
According to Food Processing, more than 30 companies have committed to using SmartLabel including: ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, Campbell Soup Co., Knouse Foods, Land O’Lakes, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Hershey, J.M. Smucker Co., Kellogg Co., General Mills, McCormick & Co., Bimbo Bakeries USA, Bruce Foods Corp., Bumble Bee Seafoods, Ferraro USA, Flowers Foods, Reily Foods Co., Rich Products Corp., Sunny Delight Beverages Co., Tyson Foods Inc., Ahold USA, Topco LLC, WhiteWave Foods Co., Pharmavite LLC, Clorox, Colgate, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.
For more information about SmartLabel QR Codes, visit SmartLabel.org.
Update (Nov 7, 2016): As per latest news reports, President Obama has signed a federal law (titled The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard) that requires food manufacturers to add QR Codes on food packaging, which will guide consumers towards detailed GMO disclaimers.
This move comes as a welcome relief to food manufacturers who would otherwise have to proceed through strict state laws and an incoherent food labeling system that lacked transparency.
Do you think it’s a good move? Share your thoughts in the comments below.