German-based Schmitt Sohne has added QR code technology to the labels and point-of-sale materials for all of its brands.
The QR codes, when scanned by a smartphone and code reader application, take consumers to a mobile site where they can interact with the brand in various ways, such as reading and submitting user reviews and getting advice for food pairing suggestions.
“We started seeing the [QR] codes a year or so ago, and the trickle is fast turning into a flood,” Tom Vierhile Datamonitor innovation insights director told BeverageDaily.com.
“QR codes allow increased transparency for consumer packaged goods as they can identify where a product's ingredients came from, when they were harvested, and more,”he said.
For a category like wine, which is incredibly fragmented with many purchase decisions are made at the point-of-sale, QR codes could emerge as a tie-breaker between different products and brands, said the analyst.
The codes are likely to have more measurable benefits for products that are less commodity-like than others, said the analyst.
In some product categories, such as wine and possibly gourmet foods and drinks as well as organic products, consumers are interested in seeking more information on a given offering, and the QR code really facilitates this, he added.
Vierhile said the major target audience would skew towards the younger population and technologically-adept consumers, although he said QR codes were rapidly moving mainstream.
"QR codes give us a new way to engage wine buyers at the point of decision," said Chris Klau, president of Schmitt Sohne.
"Now consumers can interact with our brands and learn more about our wines within the retail setting. In addition, QR codes open up some exciting possibilities with regards to marketing and promotions, which we will leverage at every opportunity."