Whether you’re in the food industry or are an avid grocery shopper, you know that barcode labels play an important role on food. From nutrition facts and allergen labeling to food supply chain traceability, each and every food label is full of necessary information.
Food and beverage manufacturers face many challenges including juggling multiple label types, complex customer requirements, and compliance with ever-changing industry regulations and initiatives for barcode labels on food. Within this blog post, we’ll discuss what the Foodservice GS1 US Standard is, different labels that food manufacturers use, and how to efficiently create barcodes for food packaging.
Created in 2009, the Foodservice GS1 U.S. Standards Initiative is a voluntary, collaborative industry effort seeking to drive waste out of the foodservice supply chain, improve product information, and establish a foundation for food safety through better traceability. GS1 Standards help establish the foundation for clearer communication in an increasingly complex foodservice supply chain. Industry-wide adoption of standards will provide a common language to help trading partners share information not only with each other, but with their consumers as well.
GS1 Standards are like the DNA of items and products moving through their value chain. By uniquely identifying each, it’s possible to link items and products with relevant information. Barcodes on food packages improve product information, reduce food waste, and improve the safety of products consumed. GS1 Standards help businesses in the foodservice supply chain hold varying amounts of product data, including GTINs, batch or lot information, and expiration dates.
GS1 barcodes are everywhere in modern day supply chain labeling. Creating GS1 barcodes efficiently and accurately is crucial to the day-to-day operation of businesses around the globe. You can easily create and print GS1-compliant labels with our label design software by utilizing the built in GS1 wizard and robust variable capabilities.
Check out the video below to learn more about GS1 Standards and the foodservice supply chain.
The GS1 Digital Link leverages your existing GS1 barcode identifiers within your labeling software to create a scannable barcode that links to external resources. The GS1 Digital Link standard extends the capabilities of the GS1 identifiers, such as the GTIN, to leverage the web to provide consumers essential information to improve supply chain traceability, strengthen brand loyalty, and much more.
A QR code is a two-dimensional (2D) barcode that can store more information than a traditional barcode and is easily scannable by consumer devices like smart phones. QR Codes on food product packaging can serve as a powerful tool to build trust between the food manufacturer’s whole supply chain and their consumers as well as using less space on their packaging. By giving customers the ability to simply scan a QR code with their smart phone, they can access loads of information. For example, Raw Seafoods, a seafood supplier, wanted to rebuild consumer trust in their marketing through use of blockchain technology, so they set up a QR code to track their supply chain from beginning to end. It’s also an interactive way for customers to set up reminders on their smartphones about the product, different ways to use the food, expiration dates, and disposal method in case of expiration.
When you think about labels on food, you’re probably instantly envisioning Nutrition Facts Labels. They are the most common labels that are seen on food products and are easy to read by the human eye. Within this label you can easily tell how many calories there are per serving/container, how many carbohydrates, and other important nutrition facts that consumers like to know.
As of January 1st, 2020, food and beverage manufacturers with more than $10 million in annual food sales must comply with new nutrition facts label requirements, including a revamped barcode label design on your food that includes bold elements and larger fonts, updated list of nutrients and daily values required, and revised serving size and dual column requirements for certain package sizes.
Food and beverage manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales have until January 1, 2021 to meet these updated Nutrition Facts labeling requirements.
These new requirements mean that you must ensure that you’re selecting a barcode label software solution that can adapt to different label formats and sizes, implement dynamic styling to highlight common food allergens, and offer robust database connections to help ensure data accuracy.
Barcode labels for food don't need to be confusing. We're here to help.
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Travis Wayne is the Label Design Product Manager at TEKLYNX. Travis applies his 20+ years of IT and health sciences experience to empower businesses to streamline operations and barcode better by applying software and technology. He works to continually improve TEKLYNX' strategic planning, product and project management principles, and cross-functional communications. When not working, he enjoys many outdoor activities with his wife and two children.
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