When you purchase a few items at the grocery store you may not give much thought to the UPC labels on those items. In fact, you may not even notice the UPC labels. However these labels actually serve an important role in how fast we enter and leave the checkout line. These labels provide a variety of information needed to price your items. It also keeps track of inventory for the retailer.
UPC stands for Universal Product Code and is only one of many bar codes used by retailers and other businesses. It was the Uniform Grocery Produce Code Council that developed the code which would serve as the basis for the UPC code. However, it was George J. Laurer that produced the code and the first UPC labels.
The first UPC label was used on a ten pack of Wrigley’s gum in 1974. Since then UPC labels have became a normal part of our grocery experiences. Depending on the type of product UPC labels may tell us the weight, the price, or even the amount and type of savings a coupon contains.
There are also many other types of product bar codes that have come along. These codes are becoming more complicated as they attempt to hold more and more information in the same amount of space. Technology is making these goals possible as it provides better methods of creating, reading, and interpreting these codes.
So, though you may not have given much thought to those black and white lines sitting on your package of Doritos, it is the UPC labels that tell the checkout girl that the bag is worth $2.99 rather than $299.00. It also lets the store know that they have one less bag of Doritos, two more dollar bills, and 99 more cents. UPC labels contribute more than you realize.