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Heinz Ketchup places mobile bar codes on packaging to engage, reward consumers

Consumers can play a trivia game to enter for a chance to win one of 57 eco-friendly prizes via Heinz’s “Guess What We Just Planted” sweepstakes.  Consumers can scan the QR code on the back of the ketchup or enter online by going to

“Mobile bar codes provide a means for consumer engagement with the brand and given that Heinz is a mass consumer product, the bar code provides a nice, instant means to get immediate consumer engagement – at time of impulse,” said Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies, Seattle.  

“And ultimately, the brand is able to deliver more value to the consumer,” she said. 

Ms. Marriott is not affiliated with Heinz. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Heinz did not respond to press inquiries.

User engagement
When consumers scan the mobile bar code, they are redirected to a mobile-optimized landing page where they can enter for a chance to win prizes.

The QR code featured on the back of the ketchup product

To enter, consumers have to answer trivia questions such as how long does it take for a newspaper to decompose.

Additionally, users can play once daily for a greater chance to win.

Consumers can answer trivia questions to enter

Heinz is showing consumers that it is going green and being more conscious of the environment via its new initiative.

The company is also hopping on the mobile bar code bandwagon and engaging its growing number of tech-savvy customers.

“Incentives and exclusive information are a great way to encourage consumer participation,” Ms. Marriott said. “We have found that incentives have a much higher response rate via bar code scans than other calls to action.

“Incentives also provide a means for the brand to build their CRM programs and continue to interact with the consumer, as long as the consumer opts in, after the scan,” she said.

Using mobile bar codes for this initiative helps drive engagement between Heinz and its customers.

Additionally, offering prizes by answering a few questions also entices consumers to interact with the brand.

Mobile bar codes are a growing trend and more companies are using them for their everyday initiatives – whether they place them on bus shelters, static ads or on products.

“We are seeing significant adoption of bar codes by all sectors and bar codes are replacing SMS and URLs as essential information to include in all marketing elements,” Ms. Marriott said. “Bar codes will continue to see this significant rise in utilization and adoption.”