Our Newsletter:
Traceability Insider

August 2014
How Digitization is About to Change the Rules of Your Business

June 2014
Food Waste, We are Fed Up, and a Gladson Case Study

May 2014
Ag Tech and the Power of Catchy Criticism

March 2014
Labels are Soooo 1990, “Thorny” food labeling law

January 2014
Oxymoronic Grocery Predictions and Big Data for the Produce Industry

December 2013
The Gift of Growing – Helping Kids Get Their Hands Dirty!

November 2013
Produce Brand Strategy, Visibility and Transparency

September 2013
A "Lean" Supply Chain, Knowing your Shopper

April 2013
Food Waste, The Rolling Stones, Raley's, and Tanimura & Antle

March 2013
First Look! FDA Releases IFT Traceability Report and Lessons from Europe's Horsemeat Crisis Every Fresh Food Brand Should Learn

January 2013
What Does the Future Hold?

September 2012
"Locale" Produce and Reducing the Impact of Recalls

January 2012
Making the Case for Traceability

September 2011
GTINs – the Devil Is in the Details

August 2011
Turbocharge Mobile Marketing with HarvestMark and QR Codes

May 2011
Traceability Insider

January 2011
It's a New Year. What's the latest on PTI?

May 2010
HarvestMark Makes its VoiceCode™ Solution Open Source

December 2009
IFT Publishes Traceability Report for FDA

Holiday Issue 2009
What Happened at the FDA/USDA Hearing on Food Traceability

September 2009
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

August 2009
How to Avoid Synching Without Trace

July 2009
What's the Value of PTI?

May 2009
Case-Level and Item-Level Traceability-What You Need to Know

April 2009
Still Have Questions about PTI? Don't Worry, You're Not Alone

March 2009
PTI, GS1, GTIN, GLN? HarvestMark's Got the FAQs

January 2009
The First PTI Milestone is Around the Corner

December 2008
A Pivotal Year for Food Safety

November 2008
FDA Solicits Public Comment on Enhanced Produce Traceability

October 2008
Produce Traceability Initiative Action Plan Released

September 2008
How Will Greater Transparency Enhance Your Business?

Español - 01 2012
Elaborando el Caso para Trazabilidad

Español - 03 2012
La Más Reciente Norma de la FDA es Efectiva Inmediatamente. ¿Debería Usted Estar Preocupado?

August 2013
How Walmart Could Implement PTI, Crowdsourced Shopper Insights

June 2010
How to Interpret the PTI announcement of "Goal Unchanged, Milestones Adjusted"

December 2010
An Update on the PTI

July 2010
Produce Traceability in Foodservice

February 2010
What's Going on with the PTI

March 2010
Consumer Attitudes to Traceability

August 2010
HarvestMark Launches Consumer Campaign in Portland, OR

March 2011
Have you heard of the PLU DataBar Initiative?

November 2011
Traceability? There’s an App for That

December 2012
It’s all new. Introducing HarvestMark 2013.

March 2012
The FDA's Latest Ruling is Effective Immediately. Should You be Worried?

June 2012
Do QR Codes REALLY Drive Shopper Engagement?

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June 2012: Do QR Codes REALLY Drive Shopper Engagement?

Do QR Codes REALLY Drive Shopper Engagement?

There’s been a lot of discussion about QR Codes in the produce industry recently.  Some people think that QR Codes are a ridiculous fad (remember CueCat?  No?  Most of us don’t either.) Others predict that scanning QR codes will become a daily fixture in our lives, like checking email and Facebook.

The evidence points strongly that QR codes are here to stay.  This month, over 50% of Americans will have smart phones.  In a single quarter of 2011,  20.1 million shoppers scanned a QR code.  The top location?  44% of consumers scanned from a retail store, primarily to get more information about a product or service.

We know statistics can be misleading, so we thought we’d share some real-world examples from HarvestMark customers.  We’ve added QR Codes to millions of produce items, making them traceable – and most importantly engaging for shoppers.  Here are a few results:

  • One HarvestMark customer incorporated a HarvestMark QR code on their label with no call out, no incentive, and no additional marketing support.  In the first 4 weeks, 3,000 shoppers scanned the QR Code to find out more about the product.
  • Frontera Produce leveraged a HarvestMark QR code to run a cause marketing campaign that integrated with their Facebook profile. In less than 2 months they doubled their number of Facebook friends.
  • One of our customers has had the QR code on their packaging scanned by over 82,000 shoppers to date.

If you want to find out how HarvestMark can drive real brand engagement while avoiding the common pitfalls of QR code marketing contact our marketing team to set up a complimentary chat.

If you’re a current HarvestMark customer and would like to enhance your program with QR codes, contact our support team at support@harvestmark.com.  We’ll work with your label printer to make the transition seamless.


The PTI Compliance Survey- PTI Has Gone Mainstream

Speaking of surveys, the Produce Traceability Initiative leadership conducted an important survey to see how many growers and shippers have met the PTI milestones, and what the plans are of those who haven’t yet complied.  While the report highlighted good momentum and high rates of GTIN creation, it didn’t specifically report the percentage of shippers that are shipping PTI compliant cases today. Since we’re a data-driven company, we thought we’d try to find out.

We conducted our own in-market study to estimate what percentage of the produce industry is actually shipping cases with PTI-compliant labels at the end of Q1, 2012.  Here’s what we found:


Some observations from this data:

Non-US suppliers were well-represented (Mexican, Canadian and tropical suppliers were more likely to have implemented PTI) – likely because importers are anxious to meet anticipated US-buyers requirements, and due to seasonal effects (in the case of tomatoes and peppers from Mexico).

Citrus was very well-represented.   Along with tree fruit, it appears these packers have been able to upgrade their pack lines to include PTI information. (See the Sun Pacific Announcement.)

Most labels met the industry guidelines for barcode size and format (GTIN/LOT), but the Voice Pick Code was often missing and sometimes calculated wrong (you can check you’re calculating it right, here).

So what?

According to traditional technology adoption thinking, this means that PTI has “crossed the chasm” … meaning that it’s not just the early adopters now who have implemented PTI, but the initiative has gone mainstream.  The chart below (called the Rogers Bell Curve) shows that because it looks like 20-30% of suppliers have implemented PTI, then the industry is moving through the early majority adoption.