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Barcodes for Produce – How to Barcode Fruits and Vegetables

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The Challenge of Barcoding Produce

  Simply Barcodes understands the unique challenges facing those needing to barcode produce. With so many options available, where do you go, and who is legitimate? Customers often share with us that barcoding produce seems so complicated. Do they need a normal UPC Barcode or RSS Databar? What are the guidelines for barcoding my produce’s various package types?

Industry Expertise

  Simply Barcodes makes barcoding simple. We have been in business for nearly 22 years and count many farms, orchards, and growers among our clients. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff stands ready to answer your questions and do more than just sell you barcodes for your produce. We work with you to help your company successfully distribute your produce.

We are thoroughly familiar with the requirements for barcoding single items of produce vs. packages fruits and vegetables. You face numerous challenges when working to get your products to the market, knowing the barcode requirements for produce should not be one of them.

What kind of barcode do I need for produce (fruits and vegetables)?

  Individual pieces of fruit or vegetable and multi-unit packs each require their own normal 12-digit UPC number. However, you may have noticed that the barcode on a single onion looks different than the barcode on a big bag of onions. What differs between single items and multi-unit packs is the type of barcode symbol(ology) used to encode the UPC number.

Single units of fruits and vegetables need barcodes that are encoded using the Databar (RSS) symbology. This type of barcode is used because it can encode the 12-digit UPC number for the single onion in a very small space. This is done in order to conserve room on the, often, very small label used for barcoding single units of produce.

Multi-packs of fruits and vegetables on the other hand, generally, allow enough space to use a standard UPC-A barcode symbol just like you may have seen on most other retail items in the USA & Canada. Please consider the examples below:

Single Item
(DataBar UPC)
DataBar UPC code on a Single Apple   UPC Code Printed on a multi-pack of Apples

This image shows the DataBar UPC code on a single apple.
This image shows the UPC code printed on a multi-pack of apples.

Is a UPC Code and a PLU Code the same thing?

  No. In many ways, UPC codes have replaced PLU numbers. There are still some retailers who prefer that you print a PLU number on your labels along with the UPC code. But, the UPC is needed either way. Once you’ve obtained your UPC from us, you may want to consult with your retailer or distributor and see if they will also want you to print a PLU number somewhere on your labels.

Do I need different UPC codes for different types of a given fruit or vegetable?

  Yes. If you, for example, have organic and regular versions of your produce, you would need a different UPC for each type.

How do I handle cases, master cartons, half-pallets and complete pallet shipments?

  Cases, master cartons, pallets and half-pallets require 14-digit barcodes called shipping container codes. This code is sometimes referred to as a GTIN-14, SCC-14 or ITF-14. This barcode permits your distributor to properly track your cases or pallets of produce as they move through distribution. The code also allows your retailers to properly check-in shipments into inventory as they arrive at the back of their locations.

What is all this going to cost me?

  UPC Codes for your single item produce (Databar barcode) are only $114 each.
UPC Codes for your multi-unit produce (UPC-a barcode) are only $89 each.
SCC Codes for your half-pallets or pallets are only $25 each.

How do I get barcodes for produce?

1stGo to our Order Page or call us at +1 404-869-0701 or toll free at 877-872-2060.
2ndPlace your order.
  We only require that you provide contact and billing information. You are not required to provide product information.
  Your retailer collects your product information, which they associate with your barcode at the Point of Sale.
  Note: We also accept checks, money orders, and wire transfers. If you wish to use one of those payment methods, please print and complete this form.

When do I get my barcodes?

  The turn-around time is often within an hour.
All orders received before 4 p.m. Eastern Time on business days are completed the same day. Orders placed after 4 p.m. will be processed next business day. If you require RUSH completion, please call 877-872-2060 (toll-free) or +1 404-869-0701 (international) to make arrangements.

How do I get my barcodes on my produce?

  Providing the barcode image to your graphic artist and including it in the design of your packaging prior to manufacturing is the easiest and most economical way of getting your barcode on your product.

If your product packaging has already been printed, you will need barcode labels. Please contact us for a quote on barcode label printing.

Where can I get more information about barcodes?

  We feature more answers to common barcoding questions (such as considerations about size, color, usability, and much more) in our General FAQ. Of course, we are always available to help you by phone.

Apart from Barcodes for Produce we also offer UPC Codes, EAN Codes, Barcodes for Amazon, Barcodes for Music, ISBN/Book Barcodes, Magazine Barcodes, Barcodes for Greeting Cards, Barcodes for Alcohol, GTIN Codes, SCC-14 Codes, SSCC-18 Codes, QR Codes, Data Matrix Barcodes, Coupon Barcodes, UPN Barcodes, Code 128 Barcodes, Code 39 Barcodes, and many other barcode types. We also provide barcoding services like, graphic creation, and label printing.

Call 877-872-2060 (toll-free) or +1 404-869-0701 (international) or live chat with our Experts for more information regarding our barcoding services. Our multilingual customer service team welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your unique situation.

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  •   "When our company, Harrison Valley Farms, approached retail stores, we needed barcodes. Being a small business, we are always short on time and our technical skills are good; however, we appreciate quick and easy technical options. Simply Barcodes was easy to use and fast. Their site made ordering, receiving and downloading the needed barcodes simple. We’ll be repeat customers."

    Kimberly Harrison
    Harrison Valley Farms
    Fulton, MO
  •   "Your website is very easy to use and we received our barcodes very quickly. We are very happy with our barcodes. Thank you!"

    Berniece Snyder
    Snyder Farms Products, LLC
    Bloomington, IN
  •   "I really appreciate you reaching out to me. Everything is fine with the UPC Codes, and I am pleased with the results."

    McKaskle Family Farm, LLC
    Braggadocio, Missouri
  •   "Simply Barcodes is simply, THE BEST!!! It is rare to find a company that combines critical marketplace technology with traditional human-interface values. Simply Barcodes did what they said they were going to do, when they said they were going to do it. Due to a rush order that came upon us, Simply Barcodes sent our product to us before I even got off the phone with the representative. They followed up on the sale to make sure our company had a perfectly working product. SPLENDID PERFORMANCE! Thank you"

    James W. Weatherford
    Lakin Horse Pellets
    Avondale, Arizona
  •   "Thank you for making my barcode experience easy & pain free. I'm very happy with my UPC barcode. It is now on all my new labels...thanks again..."

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    Huffin n Puffin Hot Sauce
    Vancouver, WA, USA
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    Original Smokehouse Brand
    Albany, GA, USA
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    Judy's Magic Mixes
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    Flippin' Sweet Salsa
    Inverness, FL