The codes will direct consumers straight to The Co-op’s mobile site and information about its food, suppliers, nutritional information and recipes by scanning the codes with a mobile device in stores.
The trial also includes an SMS text service that directs people to the retailer’s Good with Food mobile website, so that shoppers without smartphones can use it.
It will first appear on packaging for apples, pears, onions, and potatoes, produced by British growers including The Co-operative Farms.
Helen Bridgett, The Co-operative Food head of strategy, insight and planning, says: “Customers want to know what they are buying, where it’s from and how it got here, as well as the health benefits and what they can do with it in the kitchen. QR codes present an opportunity to raise awareness and inform customers about the foods we sell.”
Marketers have been warned about the value of using QR codes on products and in advertising, when the majority of consumers feel “apathetic” towards the technology.
Separately, The Co-op’s motor business has launched its first mobile-optimised website.