Omnipresent in the supermarket, barcodes are about to bow out. The black and white lines, accompanied by 13 digits, which are found as much on food products as on parcels or clothing labels, should disappear in a few years according to According to Stéphane Cren, innovation manager at GS1 France, the GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) technology appeared 50 years ago to facilitate checkout.

“Before, we had a unique label on each product, you had to get out your calculator… The barcode was a real tour de force to find a global market standard (…) This technology then left the walls companies to democratize and put information for consumers”, he explains in the columns of our colleagues.

Why get rid of it? The information delivered to consumers remains limited. Thus, the barcode should give way to the QR code (Quick Response Code), which can be scanned from an application on a smartphone or directly from the camera of the device. “The QR Code retains the same logic as the barcode. It is a digital eye capable of identifying a product more precisely”, comments Stéphane Cren.

This will allow, among other things, better management of perishable products to fight against food waste. If the distributors envisage an implementation by 2027, the specialist estimates that there are “five to ten years” before the complete change.