Nestlé says yes to QR codes.

Nestle has launched a global initiative leveraging QR codes on the packaging for its numerous brands to provide consumers with instant access to pertinent information about an item, including its nutritional profile as well as the environmental and social impacts of its products.

Retail stores in Britain will be the first to carry products featuring the new packaging. Consumers who purchase a multi-pack of two-finger Kit Kat chocolate bars will be able to scan the packaging with a smartphone to find out what the bars are made of, how they fit into a balanced diet and lifestyle and how they were produced. Other information that will be available on these sites includes portion guidance, recipe ideas and how much water or energy is used in a product’s entire lifecycle.

“We have a lot of information about the nutritional value and the environmental and social impacts of what we produce, and it makes sense to share that with consumers. We feel that QR codes are the right approach because useful information can be shared in an easy-to-use and attractive way with the consumers,” said Philippe Aeschlimann, a spokesman for Nestlé SA, Vevey, Switzerland.

Nestlé plans to roll out the QR codes across its product portfolio in emerging and developed markets as a way to help consumers make more informed choices about what to purchase or consume.

Nestle has previously used QR codes in its consumer outreach and the new expanded program points to the success of those efforts. “We learned that QR code awareness and use is growing among consumers using a smart phone,” Mr. Aeschlimann said.

Our view on this is that this is another great indicator that QR codes are here to stay as it is the most cost-effective way to engage with smartphone users. With most developing markets already on 3G and developed markets such as Singapore and HK are fast rolling out nationwide 4G networks, QR codes can be that short to mid term solution to drive consumers to your mobile content. Unlike NFC, QR codes are still, in our view, a little bit more cumbersome as it requires smartphone users to start the QR code app and depending on smartphone speed, it may take a second or two for the scanner to start up the camera and then it might take another second or two for the scanner itself to focus on the QR code and recognise it. With more than 45% penetration, only time will tell if this will be a second nature to Asia smartphone consumers .



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