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Leveraging QR Codes for Sustainable Food Choices: Insights and Impact

Decoding Environmental Impact: A Study on Consumer Engagement with QR Code-Enabled Product Climate Transparency

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In today's world, where caring for the environment is more than a trend – it's a lifestyle. Consumers are not just buying products; they're investing in a vision for a better world. They're increasingly aligning with brands that reflect their values, turning 'sustainable food products' from a niche market into a rapidly expanding sector.

In response to this shift, a research project was launched, leveraging technology to meet the rising demand for environmental accountability in the food industry. At the heart of this initiative are QR codes on food packaging, a simple yet powerful tool. These codes, when scanned, provide consumers with detailed insights into the food's production process and its environmental impact, covering the entire journey from farm to store. This project specifically targets the growing segment of consumers who prefer organic or eco-friendly products, recognizing their keen interest in the sustainability of their purchases.


The study collaborated with Eat Grim, a Danish company specializing in organic fruit and vegetable boxes, primarily composed of aesthetically discarded produce. A batch of 1591 juice bottles, each equipped with a QR code labeled "Scan for Impact," was distributed to Eat Grim's customer base. These codes, when scanned, provided comprehensive information on the product's environmental impact and included a survey to capture customer feedback. Out of the distributed bottles, feedback was successfully gathered from 160 customers, offering valuable insights into consumer perceptions and behaviors.

Key Findings

Understanding of Traceability: A significant 44% of respondents associated traceability primarily with knowing the product's origin. This highlights a consumer inclination towards understanding the geographical and procedural backstory of their food items.

Transparency and Accessibility: The study underscored that transparency is not just about the availability of information but also its accessibility, honesty, responsibility, and accountability. Consumers are increasingly seeking out clear and trustworthy information about their food choices.

Conscious Consumerism: A striking 75% of participants indicated that they actively think about product transparency and traceability. This is complemented by the fact that 90% consider sustainability when purchasing food and drink items. The significant interest in sustainability, transparency, and traceability among our participants can be attributed to the demographic we targeted, which specifically includes the growing segment of consumers who prefer organic or eco-friendly products and are deeply invested in the sustainability of their purchases.

Carbon Footprint Relevance: About 60% of respondents found it relevant to see the carbon footprint of the product, indicating a growing consumer interest in understanding the environmental impact of their purchases.

Desire for Product Traceability: Nearly half (46%) of the participants found product traceability to be a relevant feature, emphasizing the need for clear product journey information.

QR Code Effectiveness: The study revealed that 88% of the participants felt "sufficiently" or "very well" informed about the tested product through the QR code information. This is a notable contrast to the 46% who felt the same about products in their everyday life, highlighting the effectiveness of QR codes in enhancing consumer knowledge. This stark contrast highlights the powerful impact of QR code technology in closing the information gap, marking a significant step forward in empowering consumers with the knowledge they need to make environmentally responsible choices.

The study presents compelling evidence that modern consumers, especially those inclined toward organic and sustainable products, are deeply interested in the environmental impact, transparency and traceability of their food choices. The use of QR codes emerged as a powerful tool in bridging the information gap, significantly enhancing consumer knowledge and engagement. These findings suggest a substantial opportunity for food producers and retailers to improve their communication strategies, aligning with the growing demand for transparency and sustainability in the food industry. As we move forward, integrating such technological solutions could be pivotal in fostering a more informed and environmentally responsible consumer base.

Embrace the future of climate transparency in the food industry today. Harness the power of QR code technology to communicate the climate impact of your offerings, aligning with consumer and B2B demands for sustainability related information. Join the movement towards a sustainable future by showcasing your commitment to climate transparency awareness today.

View the Climate Catalog here

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