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How to Use QR Codes on Bottles & Cans
Soda cans and wine bottles seem made for scannable Codes, but it's surprising how few brands actually use them. At QR Code Generator, we are big believers in the power of scannable Codes to add value to beverage products, and there are plenty of examples of how to do so.
Why Brands Choose to Place QR Codes on Cans
If your company produces soda cans, alcoholic drinks or any other canned beverages, the can itself is a vital marketing tool. Brands pour huge resources into recruiting graphic designers to create visual styles, because first impressions matter. But information matters too.
Consumers want to know whether artificial sweeteners have been used, how many calories a drink contains, and information about things like sustainability or carbon emissions. You can't put all of that on a can - which is where QR Codes on cans come in handy.
How Coca-Cola Pioneered the Use of QR Codes on Cans
One of the first uses of QR Codes on cans came from the beverage giant Coca-Cola. In this case, the aim wasn't purely informative. Starting in 2011, Coke's German subsidiary sought to connect buyers of their 25cl small red cans with music videos from acts like the garage band Mando Diao. When scanned, the Codes sent smartphone users to the Coke Music Portal, where they could see videos or discover pop-up gigs organized by the company. It was a slick, youth-oriented marketing idea which worked well, showing the potential for matching web content with real world consumption. Check out the Video QR Code.
Coke didn't stop there. Since 2011, they have been key participants in the SmartLabel scheme that uses QR Codes to provide nutritional information which can be done with the PDF QR Code. It's all about reaching customers through the tech they use. As the company's Global Director for Mobile put it in 2016, "I have to make sure that if consumers have a mobile phone in one hand, then I need to put a Coke in the other."
Canned Goods Manufacturers are Cracking the Code for Smartphone Users
Other canned goods have been slower to benefit from scannable Codes, but they are catching up. For instance, small breweries like Bonfire Brewing in Eagle, Colorado, use Codes to provide recipes for each beer they offer. In a sector where consumers love specialist knowledge, it really brings them closer to the brands they love.
Other canned goods manufacturers are using QR Codes on cans to burnish their anti-GMO credentials. Organic canned goods like corn or black beans are ideally suited to portals which tell inspirational stories directly from growers, setting smaller manufacturers apart from big corporations.
Bottling the Future: Using QR Codes on Bottles
Naturally, soda cans and canned corn aren't the only products that have used scannable Codes to add value. There are plenty of exciting applications of QR Codes on bottles to learn from as well.
This even extends to premium products like wine bottles. In fact, the wine industry has embraced scannable Codes for familiar reasons. When customers scan Codes on wine bottles in store, they can find out where the grapes have come from, see intros from growers and wineries, and generally get a feel for the wine's authenticity.
Australian manufacturer McGuigan also used Codes to suggest match ups between wine bottles and specific foods - a great practical service for wine fans to use.
Enhancing Humble Beer Bottles or Coffee Cups with Scannable Codes
We've also seen some inventive ways to make beer bottles more functional (and valuable). Take Harry's Bar in Singapore. Seeing that patrons often sought to make connections at the bar, the owners added Codes to their own branded beer bottles, which let them send messages to singles drinking at the same bar.
Even ordinary old coffee cups can be enhanced. When Codes are added to coffee cups, they can seamlessly link customers to loyalty schemes. As they sip their flat white, customers can casually scan the Code and find out everything they need to know about special offers or loyalty points using the Coupon QR Code.
As you can see, everywhere you look, there are uses for scannable Codes in the beverage sector. From coffee cups and soda cans to beer bottles, wine bottles and standard canned goods, QR Codes allow manufacturers to create connections and tell stories in unique ways.
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