food marketing qr code

QR codes for food: comprehensive guide [2023]

Let’s explore all the ways in which QR codes can enrich your communication strategy, whether in manufacturing, catering or services.

In this article we will address what is arguably the most important part of any QR code-based marketing campaign: targeting the code!

What information do we want to provide to the customer? This is where you can indulge: in the next few pages we will explore dozens of ways in which you can use QR codes to enrich your communication strategy.

In this article we will focus on ideas suitable for any business in the agrifood field, and in the future we will publish articles specifically for the restaurant and manufacturing/processing sectors. Follow our linkedin page so you don’t miss them!

QR codes for all palates


The great classic of QR codes! I am willing to bet that if you went rummaging through the shelves of a supermarket, scanning every QR code that came within reach, you would find that nine out of ten (of the working ones) point to the homepage of the manufacturer’s website.

This solution, although in many cases it helps the customer find what they are looking for, denotes a certain lack of imagination: it is a missed opportunity to show something dedicated to the consumer, and that makes sense in the context in which it is located. That said, better than nothing! If you are short on time and care about creating an extra channel to increase traffic to your site, a QR code pointing to it is definitely a good solution.

Ingredients and allergens

One idea would be to present more clearly to the consumer what ingredients, and particularly allergens, are present in your preparation, whether it is a restaurant dish or a retail product. One advantage of QR codes here, especially if they are dynamic QR codes (i.e., whose link can be changed at any time), is the fact that they can be printed at first, perhaps before having the specific information of a certain production batch, and connected later to the information itself.

zego qr code
Zego’s bar, which carries allergen information via a QR code

This is what Zego, a U.S.-based start-up that produces gluten-free bars, has done. The company wanted to provide more specific information on the amounts of allergens found by analysis in individual production batches, but the problem was being able to create packaging in advance without creating production delays. The QR code solved this problem, allowing all their customers to have correct and up-to-date information about the specific product they had purchased.

Of course, this use of the QR Code is subject to the country’s current allergen regulations, and cannot replace the mandatory indication of allergens on the label if it is required by law. Despite this, a QR Code allows it to be supplemented with additional information that may be useful to consumers.

Social media

Another idea would be to use QR codes to drive your customers to your social channels, so they can continue to interact with your brand and your content. You could ask them to take a picture of your product and post it online with your #hashtag, or to re-share one of your posts. This will improve your brand image, increase your visibility on social media and encourage new purchases from your customers.


Digital coupons cost less than printed ones! They are also harder to lose, stay safely in the smartphone, ready to use, and are easy to share with friends and family (plus they cannot be thrown on the floor and pollute the environment). If your marketing strategies include special offers, discounts or packages you should definitely consider using QR codes to digitize them. You can put the Coupon-QR in your product or delivery packaging, but also on your menu, on a flyer, or on a window display.

Video and other multimedia content

A QR code is also a great way to share a corporate video with your customers, or an audio to guide them in tasting a dish or wine. This can be achieved very simply by uploading the video or audio to youtube and creating a QR code using the web address of the video.

Packaging and environmental impact

Do you use environmentally sustainable packaging or packaging? A QR code can be a great way to communicate your commitment to environmental advocacy to your customer by explaining what makes your packaging special. In the case of a returnable vacuum you might also provide return instructions or provide other information to raise awareness of the issues you care about.

Now you have some food for thought in the coming days! We will soon publish articles specific to the use of QR codes in food service and agribusiness production. If this topic interests you and you want to learn more, follow QualityChain on our social channels.




See you anon!

About QualityChain

QualityChain helps Italian agribusiness SMEs transform their products from simple exhibits to true digital experiences capable of enhancing their uniqueness. QualityChain is a transparent, smartphone-friendly space in which to share with consumers the history and values of small Italian producers, a showcase from which to observe the skilled hands that work the land, the wine, the bread, and everything good that our companies produce.

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