2D barcodes are the future

2D barcodes are the future

The barcode that is scanned in the supermarket is well-known. However, this code – which typically only states the item number – offers only limited room for information. Whereas sharing information is becoming increasingly important, says Judith de Witte of Type 2 Solutions, operating in the field of label and data management.

“The more information is made available digitally on the packaging, the more useful the barcode becomes to everyone.”

Data Matrix code

Two-dimensional (2D) codes like the data matrix code or the QR code have a greater storage capacity.

Judith explains that, in healthcare and drugstores, the use of these codes is now common practice and drives their implementation in other industries.

Advantages of 2D barcodes

Judith explains that there are advantages to digitizing information in respect of tracing, food safety, inventory management and food waste.

Type 2 Solutions, a supplier of software designed to generate 2D codes, is expecting fresh product information such as net weight, price, item number, expiry date and batch number to be included in the 2D code.

Fresh Foods – Fruit and Vegetables

Where fruit and vegetables are concerned, the country of origin, production date and time, and grower are also relevant.

The availability of more information in the retail system will make it possible, for instance, to automatically adjust the price one day before the sell-by date.

Or, on the basis of the product code, information pertaining to allergens can automatically be linked to the supermarket web shop, thus providing customers with up-to-date information.

Another example is the recall. Says Judith: “In the event of a recall, the number of products involved and where they are exactly can be established immediately on the basis of the batch number.”


An example of the use of a GS1 DataMatrix – 2D code – for Fresh Foods. The label is created with the Productlabel software of T2S.


GS1 maintains the barcodes standard. This organization is currently discussing the transition to the use of two-dimensional codes with the retail industry. GS1 and their implementation partners, which includes Type 2 Solutions, are seeking to implement the 2D code for fresh products, such as fruit and vegetables.

The reason that this is presently only progressing piecemeal has to do with the investments that are needed for barcode scanning; 2D barcodes cannot yet be read at every checkout.

Judith tells us that a number of Belgian retailers have started using 2D codes. She also observed that 2D barcodes are already being used on pallets and outer cartons.

Source: AGF Primeur 3

Barcode labeling solutions

Type 2 Solutions offers a range of software solutions for barcode labeling and EDI.

The EDI Platform, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications Palletlabel (SSCC), Productlabel, Mediclabel and Assetlabel and the on-premise solutions One2Label Automation.

All our software solutions are developed by Type 2 Solutions and use the same technology: our proven labeling and rendering engine and our data integration platform.

We have successfully deployed these technology with our customers worldwide since 2002.

Customer stories

Would you like to know more about what our clients tell about our label management solutions? Click on one of the cases and read all about it.