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Pacific Natural Foods puts QR codes on packaging to simplify shopping

In its first move into mobile  marketing, Pacific Natural Foods is rolling out new packaging this year that features QR codes as a way to simplify shopping for groceries in a store.

The QR codes provide usage ideas and recipes when scanned with a smarpthone. The company expects the recipe ideas to help drive larger basket sizes.

“QR give us the opportunity to provide consumers with more information than we can fit on the package,” said Jennifer Herrick, marketing communications manager for Pacific Natural Foods, Tualatin, OR. “Through these links, Pacific offers how-to videos, usage ideas and recipes, shopping lists and information about where our ingredients come from.

“We put QR codes on package to help consumers make shopping decisions in the aisle,” she said.

Sales tool
Marketers across a wide range of categories are embracing 2D bar codes such as QR codes as penetration of smartphones increases and consumers show an affinity for using their phones to scan a variety of bar codes.

In a recent survey, Scanbuy Inc. found that half of marketers are already using 2D bar codes as part of their overall marketing strategy and 86 percent plan to use the technology in the future (see story).

Over 100 marketers in industries such as healthcare, retail and entertainment were surveyed.

A separate survey from Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that half of smartphone owners have scanned QR codes and 18 percent of them made a purchase after scanning (see story).

Placing QR codes on packaged goods give brands a way to engage consumers while making it easy for consumers to access relevant information that there is not enough room on the packaging to display.

Pacific Natural Foods’ new packaging features the QR codes on the side of the packaging to give consumers a way to easily access recipe ideas, vidoes and other information when they are in a store making their purchasing decisions.

Cosmetics brand Smashbox put mobile bar codes on some of its products to educate consumers about its makeup with the QR codes leading to mobile tutorial videos (see story).

Heinz Ketchup used QR codes on the back of its ketchup bottles to enable consumers to play a trivia game and enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of several prizes (see story).

Quaker Oats used QR codes boxes of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars to initiate a dialogue with customers that continues online. By scanning the codes, customers can see a preview of how they can send their kids personalized messages from teen musician Nick Jonas (see story).

The new packaging featuring QR codes from Pacific Natural Foods should be on shelves by mid-2012.

“We hope it will give consumers information that they’re seeking, be it about ways to use the products, recipes or cooking tips and techniques,” Ms. Herrick said. “We hope that this additional information also increases sales of Pacific products and overall basket ring for retailers.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York