As the food and beverage industry continues to grow, it has become increasingly important for companies to track their products accurately for it is a is highly regulated industry and requires strict adherence to safety standards for obvious reasons. Companies need to ensure compliance and improve efficiency and one of the most efficient and reliable ways to do this is through barcode labels.
Keeping consumer safety in minds, Barcode labels canalso be used on food and beverages to contain valuable information about allergens, nutritional information, and expiration dates, ensuring that consumers make informed decisions about the products they purchase and consume.
What are barcode labels?
Barcode labels have been in use over decades now and it can be easily found on any food and beverage item at your place, in your fridge. The FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry is one of the most popular one where barcode labelling is quite prevalent.
Essentially barcode labels are labels that contain barcode for identification of individual item.
In other words, barcode labels are machine-readable codes that consist of a series of parallel lines of varying widths and spaces (bars). These codes are used to store information about a product or item and can be scanned using a barcode scanner.
Though traditional barcode have the capacity to store few digits, less amount of data, QR codes (quick response codes), are another type of barcodes, basically two dimensional, matrix if you will, that can store ten times the more data a barcode can. It also offers a range of data type that can be stored like text, number, image or a pdf etc.
QR codes are also being used in food and beverage industry for labelling and for providing customers with more customized information about the product.
You might have seen a wine bottle with QR code that contains details like how that wine is made, the whole story behind it.
Why are barcode labels important for the food and beverage industry?
Barcode labels are an essential tool for the food and beverage industry, providing companies with accurate tracking, efficient inventory management, and ensuring consumer safety. But there’s more to that. It also helps in enhancing the customer engagement with the product. Customers can now scan two dimensional barcodes to get more information about the product.
Let’s take closer look at how barcode labels are used for labelling and tracking in different areas of the industry:
In the food and beverage industry, product labelling is crucial for providing consumers with essential information about the products they are purchasing. Barcodes used for product labelling typically include a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which is a unique identifier assigned to each product. But more importantly for the industry, it is used to label individual products, ensuring that each item can be tracked and identified throughout the supply chain, which is quite helpful for food and beverage businesses in terms of loss prevention.
These barcodes also commonly include information such as the product's name, description, weight, and expiry date.
Shipping and receiving
Barcodes used in shipping and receiving are known as shipping labels or logistic labels.
These are used to track products as they are shipped from the manufacturing plant to the warehouse and then to the store shelves.They typically contain information about the product's origin, destination, and carrier. The barcodes used in shipping labels can be linear (1D) or two-dimensional (2D), with 2D barcodes providing more storage capacity for information.
Inventory management is crucial for ensuring that companies have enough products on hand to meet customer demand.
Barcodes used for inventory management include Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), which are unique identifiers assigned to each product variant. These barcodes can be used to track the movement of products within a warehouse or distribution centre, allowing companies to monitor stock levels and reorder products as needed. This also helps them to clear stock that has close expiration date, in retail stores or at the supplier’s end, preventing huge losses.
Barcode are also used in retail at POS. These barcodes used at the point of sale (POS) are known as retail barcodes or UPC codes. Such barcodes contain a GTIN and are used to scan products at checkout.
Retailers use POS barcodes to track sales, manage inventory, and provide customers with accurate pricing information.
To summarize, barcode labels or simply barcodes, are an essential tool for the food and beverages in this particular industry, providing companies with accurate tracking, efficient inventory management, and ensuring consumer safety.
By using these barcode labels, companies can streamline their operations, prevent losses, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
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