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Nestlé puts QR codes at center of global effort to provide nutritional information

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.

?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,? said Philippe Aeschlimann, a spokesman for Nestlé SA, Vevey, Switzerland.

?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,? he said.

Mobilizing packaging
Smarpthone users who scan the QR codes on Nestle packaging will be taken to a digital site where they can find more detailed information about the product than would normally fit in the limited space available on most packaging.

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.

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.

In most cases, the QR codes will appear within the Nestle nutritional compass, which was introduced seven years ago as an informative on-pack guide.

Nestle?s QR code initiative follows a similar strategy introduced by McDonald?s last year, with the fast food giant placing 2D bar codes on its packaging with nutritional information (see story).

Awareness grows
Nestle has previously used QR codes in its consumer outreach and the new expanded program points to the success of those efforts.

The consumer packaged goods giant is embracing mobile in other ways, as well. Nestle?s Purina pet food brand has introduce several mobile applications while its Lean Cuisine brand has employed mobile advertising.

?We learned that QR code awareness and use is growing among consumers using a smart phone,? Mr. Aeschlimann said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York