SmartLabel is an initiative by US food, beverage, and consumer companies. It aims to promote transparency about their products.
Through this initiative, participating companies will add a SmartLabel QR Code on their product packaging. It will redirect to product information useful to consumers.
What is a SmartLabel QR Code?
A SmartLabel QR Code will provide shoppers more information about the products they are purchasing. hence, each product will have a SmartLabel QR Code.
One can easily scan this QR Code using a smartphone. It will lead the shopper to a landing page.
A QR Code is a 2D barcode that can store information such as URLs, text, and contact information. Also, they are an excellent tool to connect people from offline media to online content.
Therefore, a lot of marketers now use QR Code for various promotional use cases. Besides marketers, industries such as education and real estate are also using QR Codes for operational use cases.
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
On the other hand, for non-food consumer products, SmartLabel™ includes things such as:
- Usage instructions
- Advisories and handling information
SmartLabel has been started by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), manufacturers and retailers. It allows people to make informed decisions about the products they purchase.
Pamela G. Bailey, President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said:
“People want more information, hence, they are asking more questions about products they buy, use and consume. And SmartLabel™ puts detailed information right at their fingertips.”
Also see how United States Department of Agriculture has announced the use of QR Codes to give GMO information to buyers.
Which companies are participating?
According to Food Processing, more than 30 companies have committed to using SmartLabel including. Some of these include: 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, and Bruce Foods Corp.
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 also an incoherent food labeling system that lacked transparency.
Do you think it’s a good move? Share your thoughts in the comments below.