QR codes could be the solution to reduce some food waste
According to a study published in a USDA-ERS economics newsletter, dairy products are among the top three categories contributing to most food waste in the United States. of public health has demonstrated this. But researchers from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University have recognized the importance of informing and engaging consumers in making food systems more sustainable. QR codes have the ability to do just that.
A new study from Cornell indicates that shoppers will use QR codes to understand how long groceries can stay fresh. This type of information exchange can ultimately result in a smaller industrial footprint and reduced expenses along manufacturing lines. When given the choice of buying milk with expiration labels displayed via QR codes or printed in ink, researchers (in the Journal of Dairy Science) observed that customers more frequently purchased items with QR codes (to further incentivize checking labels, products with impending expiration dates were cheaper).
However, this shift to QR codes and food may be more recent in the United States than in the rest of the world. For example, more than a decade ago, UK retailer Tesco integrated QR codes into a grocery store at an underground station that allowed customers to scan groceries on their mobile phones for home delivery, as reported by IT Retail. As for the United States? Keep your eyes peeled for QR codes at your neighborhood market soon.