Evaluating the Use of QR Codes on Food Products
- 57% scanned a food QR Code to get specific information about the product.
- 38.99% of respondents want to see QR Codes used more broadly in the future.
- 67% of the respondents agreed that these codes make life easier.
2. What Does Packaging Mean for Marketing?
- Enhances the image of the product by influencing the human senses. Traditionally, marketing uses the human senses in several ways, seeking to provoke positive emotions and attitudes towards products. In regards to visual presentation, packaging strengthens the consumers’ perception of the product and reminds consumers of it. This practically means that packaging provides images, shapes, logos, information, etc., that relate to a product and are received by consumers through sight. In addition, the sense of touch influences the consumers’ perception of the food product. In terms of smell, it is the latest trend in creative multi-sensing marketing. Some packages use perfumes aiming at consumers’ the sense of smell. Certain scents can evoke emotions, memories, and influence food-purchasing behavior .
- Attracts consumers. A pleasant design, in addition to good quality materials, will attract the consumers’ attention to examine the product closely, a critical step before the purchasing decision. The packaging of the food product on the shelf should differentiate the product and increase its appeal to consumers. Packaging should enable the consumer to: distinguish the product among other competitors, recognize the type of product, attract interest in the product, easily access instructions for use and information about the contents of the package, understand the usefulness of the product, and convince consumers to purchase it .
- Promotes the product. An eye-catching packaging attracts consumers, which is in accordance with the narrative promoted by the brand . Essentially, it allows food producers to tell, in a very short time, their brand story and what the product stands for . It is therefore reasonable to argue that packaging can also act as an in-store salesperson for businesses [5,6]. Packaging is considered a critical marketing tool because it creates a connection between the consumer and the product . The image of the company and the brand name are enhanced through widely recognized packaging. Innovative packaging with clear benefits can result in significant profits. Several successful companies have managed to create such recognizable packaging that it has become part of their brand and communication strategy .
- Affects the buying behavior of consumers. Due to its multiple roles, packaging as part of the product itself includes almost all parts of businesses . Meyers and Gerstman noted that consumers buy products based on what they see and read on the packaging . Furthermore, it is common for customers to evaluate the product based on the packaging [27,30]. According to Orth, even less important packaging in terms of appearance, such as egg boxes, is evolving to deliver brand messages, differentiate from the competition, and attract consumers . Additionally, Murad argued that packaging protects product content, promotes it to consumers, and provides useful information about the products contained, i.e., ingredients, storage temperature, date of production, etc. .
- Affects the purchasing decision. The role of packaging as part of the product is becoming increasingly important. Especially considering that 70% of purchasing decisions are made at the point of sale, the challenge for a packaging proposition that stands out is critical . This applies to all products and not only to the higher priced ones. On average, supermarkets have 40,000 different products, so the need to differentiate packaging into fast-moving consumer goods becomes critical .
3. QR Code as a New Buying Enabler
4. Research Methodology
- Do I need to know anything before I open the package?
- Is the product Greek?
- Is the product organic?
- Are the pasteurization/consumption dates listed on the bottom of the package?
- Is the label made from recyclable materials?
- Does the American Farm School implement quality systems?
- Does the package contain 4 glasses of milk?
- Does the label contain contact information?
- Does the label contain nutritional tips?
- Does the label contain the number of calories?
- The American Farm School provides training seminars on the farm for milk production.
- The site presents recipes.
- Milk has a shelf life of 7 days.
- Milk is available daily on the market less than 24 h after milking.
- The website contains contact information.
- The website contains nutrition tips.
- “Seldom” (6.44 ± 2.32) < “Frequently” (8 ± 1.52), (Diff = 1.564, 95% CI 0.442–2.687, p = 0.001).
- “Seldom” (6.44 ± 2.32) < “Sometimes” (7.50 ± 1.98), (Diff = 1.064, 95% CI 0.179–1.950, p = 0.010).
- “Rare” (6.78 ± 2.08) < “Frequently” (8 ± 1.52), (Diff = 1.221, 95% CI 0.055–2.387, p = 0.035).
- “Without QR Code” (6.40 ± 2.40) < “With QR Code” (7.28 ± 1.94), (Diff = 0.874, 95% CI 0.390–1.357, p = 0.001).
Factors Affecting the Number of “Don’t Know” Answers
- “Sometimes” (1.61 ± 1.63) < “Seldom” (2.83 ± 2.32), (Diff = 1.220, 95% CI 0.368–2.072, p = 0.001).
- “Sometimes” (1.61 ± 1.63) < “Rare” (2.63 ± 2.13), (Diff = 1.019, 95% CI 0.114–1.923, p = 0.018).
- “Frequently” (1.70 ± 1.55) < “Seldom” (2.83 ± 2.32), (Diff = 1.132, 95% CI 0.052–2.212, p = 0.035).
- Do you believe that: The use of the QR Code is an easy process?
- Do you believe that: The interaction regarding the QR Code is clear and comprehensible?
- Do you believe that: The QR Code will affect my future buying decisions? and
- Do you believe that: I will be using the QR Code more often in the future?
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Without QR Code (N = 537)||With QR Code (N = 308)|
|Gender||Men||237 (44.1%)||133 (43.2%)|
|Women||300 (55.9%)||177 (56.8%)|
|Age group||16–25||25 (5.0%)||26 (8.4%)|
|26–35||83 (15.5%)||78 (25.3%)|
|36–45||224 (41.7%)||90 (29.2%)|
|46–55||138 (25.7%)||84 (27.3%)|
|>55||65 (12.1%)||30 (9.7%)|
|Education level||Secondary||46 (8.6%)||28 (9.1%)|
|Tertiary||226 (42.1%)||119 (38.6%)|
|Postgraduate or doctoral degrees||265 (49.3%)||161 (52.3%)|
|With or Without QR Code||24.185||5.617||1||0.018|
|With or Without QR Code||48.906||12.274||1||0.001|
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Rotsios, K.; Konstantoglou, A.; Folinas, D.; Fotiadis, T.; Hatzithomas, L.; Boutsouki, C. Evaluating the Use of QR Codes on Food Products. Sustainability 2022, 14, 4437. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084437
Rotsios K, Konstantoglou A, Folinas D, Fotiadis T, Hatzithomas L, Boutsouki C. Evaluating the Use of QR Codes on Food Products. Sustainability. 2022; 14(8):4437. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084437Chicago/Turabian Style
Rotsios, Konstantinos, Aggeliki Konstantoglou, Dimitris Folinas, Thomas Fotiadis, Leonidas Hatzithomas, and Christina Boutsouki. 2022. "Evaluating the Use of QR Codes on Food Products" Sustainability 14, no. 8: 4437. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084437