Pickle, sauce and beans brand Branston plans to connect its consumers to recipes, allergens, sustainability information, and more using the Orca Scan GS1 Digital Link QR solution, scannable on supermarket shelves with a smartphone.

Orca Scan and GS1 UK have developed the GS1 Digital Link solution to streamline the process of creating and maintaining GS1 Digital Link QR codes. Apparently, it is the first GS1-approved solution to fully integrate with the GS1 resolver ecosystem.

As per the Digital Link standard, physical products are each linked to a unique home page on the internet that can be edited even after a product has left the production line. Branston plans to use this technology to connect its consumers to recipe ideas, ingredients, allergens, and sustainability and recycling information – all by scanning a code with their smartphones, and without requiring an app.

The brand has reportedly become one of the first in the UK to adopt this technology as Sunrise 2027 – the date set to transition out of the traditional 1D barcode and into a GS1 Digital Link QR code, with retailers then accepting 2D barcodes at point-of-sale or point-of-care – approaches.

Existing 1D barcodes must say on brands’ packaging until 2027, the companies emphasize, as global computer systems must be given time to update in order to support the GS1 Digital Link QR code.

Any retail brands interested in adopting the new technology are encouraged to contact Orca Scan.

Sunrise 2027 was announced at the GS1 Global Forum in Brussels this time last year. It is set to help the packaging industry adopt single, all-encompassing on-pack codes, rather than confusing consumers with multiple codes for different purposes on the same pack.

GS1 also launched a new pilot programme last year. It seeks to help businesses keep up with a rapid increase in data demands, with chilli oil and sauce brand Ntsama becoming one of the first companies to take part in the trial.

Using QR codes, founder Joyce Gannon was able to share recipe ideas, nutritional information, and an augmented reality video in which she explained to consumers her inspiration to start the Mama Ntsama company. This is said to have driven a rise in sales, re-order rates, and engagement, as well as build brand loyalty.

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