Press Releases

Consumers can now find out almost anything about the products thanks to bar codes

19. February 2013

Brno, 13 February 2013 – Food product information sharing with consumers has become a centre of debate, founded not only in the changes of consumers’ behaviour and development of technology, but also in the new European Directive 2011/1169/EU imposed on producers and retailers, regarding the provision of information to end consumers. Thanks to the combination of an app on a smartphone and a regular bar code on the products’ packaging containing a GTIN, it has become possible to share all relevant information with the end. This is despite the fact that almost two thirds of retailers and producers surveyed see the barcode on the product’s packaging as a mere logistics piece of information.

Survey: GTIN is more than just pricing information

GTIN (Global Trade Item Number), formerly EAN, is used to identify the product throughout the entire supply chain. Even though the bar code is a part of the producers, retailers and logistic providers’ everyday routine, the average consumer, up until now, has derived little practical benefit from this particular piece of information.

“Experience from the market confirms the current trend that using QR codes on packaging often leads the consumer to completely irrelevant information. At the same time, the producers claim that there often isn’t enough space on the packaging to display all desired or required information to the consumer. Successful models show that the QR code is better used for downloading an application to the consumer’s phone, whereas GTIN is the preferred bearer of the unique product’s ID and information related to it,” says Petr Ondrášek, Head of strategic development at CCV Information systems, a technological provider of smartphone apps.

As the current survey, realized in partnership between GS1 Czech Republic and CCV Information systems at the Prague Retail Summit, has shown even retail managers themselves perceive the GTIN on the product’s packaging as mainly a logistics piece of information. Only a third of them are aware of the fact that a bar code can be a source of a range of important and interesting information about the product to the consumer. The increase in the usage of smartphones and user-oriented apps is likely to improve on this awareness issue.

New dimension of bar code use

The responsibility of assigning the right and unique identification number to each product using GTIN (EAN) always lies with the supplier of the product to the market. The appropriate numerical range for a particular GTIN is assigned to producers by the GS1 Czech Republic Association, the only legally certified association to register products into the GS1 system.

Pavla Cihlářová, Director of GS1 Czech Republic, is aware of the great potential bar codes offer to end consumers: “Customers require ever more information about the products they consume. Using bar codes for such a purposes offers an excellent solution to this rise in demand with regards to the spread of smartphones. The ‘good, old’ bar code scanning thus assumes a completely modern active role thanks to developments in technology – a customer can find any information stored in the app by the producer by simply scanning the bar code with their phone.” She added: “Moreover, the survey carried out by the GS1 Association has shown that customers are typically very critical of mobile apps. They are very sensitive to the trustworthiness and quality of information provided.”

Successful apps focus on food product’s origin or sales options

Rising customer requirements for information about the products on the store shelves has been successfully addressed by Templářské sklepy Čejkovice (Templar wineries in Čejkovice). With the help of a smartphone app, information about the Sanctus Victoria wine range produced by the Templářská’s wineries can now be accessed directly by scanning a bottle’s bar code, which is an intrinsic part of every vignette.

“By scanning the barcode with the help of the Templářská wines app that runs on multiple platforms, the customer can gain access to a range of useful information that can facilitate their purchasing decision. In an instant the customer can find out everything about the wine’s character, the vineyard of origin or process technology. They can also find out details about the harvest, number of bottles produced or even check real-time stock reserves. Importantly, the certification of the wine by relevant authorities with a link to laboratory and sensorial assessments can also be verified,” describes the app Petr Ondrášek. The app allows the customer not only to access all transparent information, but also purchase the product on-line or get GPS directions to the nearest retail outlet, where it is in stock.

GS1 standards are at the core of data quality

The transparent approach of Templářská wineries to its customers is in line with their current requirements that information should be easily accessible and trustworthy and warrants successful business. “Trustworthy data provided to consumers are closely connected with high-quality certifications standards prescribed by GS1, which is why this issue has such high priority with GS1 Czech Republic,” concluded Pavla Cihlářová.

The right information at the right time

A wider usage of the combination of a bar code on the packaging and a smartphone has been assisted by the Directive of the European Parliament and the EU Council no. 1169/2011 and an amendment of the Czech food products legislative in preparation, which enters into effect in December 2014. Both of these documents prescribe stricter measures in terms of providing information about food products to the end consumers. “With regards to the limited space on packaging, it can be expected that producers and retailers will provide such information via the very interface of a mobile app,” says Ondrášek.


GS1 Czech Republic, is a leading organisation operating in the implementation of global standards on the Czech market in aid of improving efficiency and transparency of logistical and supply chain processes, also across industries. GS1 system is the most widely employed standard of its kind in the world with more than 40 years of experience.

CCV Information systems has been active on the market since 1992. Our HQ is situated in Brno (CCV Business Solutions division) and our branch offices are in Brno (CCV eGovernment division), Opava (CCV eBusiness division) and v Kysucké Nové Mesto (CCV Slovakia). We provide comprehensive supplies in development, consultancy and implementation of business information systems (Microsoft Dynamics) and other software applications for selected areas of business. We specialize in solutions for the provision of Electronic data interchange (EDI Orion solution), which ensures paperless circulation of business documentation. We develop specialized solutions (registers, portals) for state administration. CCV Information systems is a holder of the certificate of the system of quality ISO 9001:2009, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a proud bearer of the Oracle Gold Partner title.

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