2D viivakoodi

GS1 2D code

What does the future of barcodes look like? Can a single code be used to serve both the retail value chain and consumers in the future? Discover the possibilities of the new, smarter GS1 2D code.

Next generation barcodes. One scan. Infinite possibilities.


What is the GS1 2D code?

GS1 2D codes are two-dimensional symbols printed on a package, 2D barcodes, that contain more information than a traditional EAN barcode. The GS1 2D code acts as an information broker in the entire supply chain and can, in the future, be scanned at the cash register. With the help of the wider information content in the code, like date information and batch number, industry and trade can develop, for example, waste and inventory management.

At the same time, the GS1 2D code is revolutionizing consumer communication in the grocery trade. The GS1 2D code can be scanned with a smartphone, like a regular QR code, taking the consumer directly to the product information online. The number of communication possibilities for consumers online is as limitless as the product manufacturer's imagination!


Why is the GS1 2D code needed?

Consumers today need more information about products than ever before. Legislators, the UN, the EU, organizations and industries strive towards sustainability, traceability and transparency in the supply chain. One of the consequences is that they set new requirements for product information. Until now, the solution has been to add more and more barcode symbols to product packaging. GS1's 2D barcode enables the use of one barcode on the packaging and takes the consumer to reliable product information online.


Other possibilities offered by the GS1 2D code:

  • Loss management: especially for fresh products, it enables the store to have better shelf availability and more transparent loss forecasting, and for suppliers to receive a more accurate demand forecast from trade groups, as well as a reduction in demand fluctuations.
  • Variable pricing: batch-specific expiration information offers the possibility of automatic discounts for expiring products at cash registers and enhances their timely display purchase for consumers.
  • Optimizing inventory management: makes the balance management and inventory practices of the locations more efficient with the help of batch and date information.
  • Product safety: can prevent the sale of expired or recalled products.


Why the GS1 2D code?

The GS1 2D code is based on the GS1 open global standard. At its core is the globally used GTIN product code, which already exists in all grocery products.

When companies adopt GS1 2D codes, they ensure that:

  • the code works globally
  • the code will also work at checkout points in the future
  • the code is linked to the company's own domain, i.e. domain name
  • the use of the code is not tied to the systems of a specific service provider.


GS1's global goal is for GS1 2D codes to be implemented and readable in store systems by 2027.

Read more: gs1.org

New guide! Using GS1 2D codes in consumer engagement

The GS1 2D code consumer engagement guide details how companies can go about using the GS1 2D code.

Want to know more about 2D barcodes? Contact our expert.

Kimmo Keravuori

Kimmo Keravuori

Development Manager – GS1 standards and GS1 2D code