The UPC Barcode – The Most Scanned Barcode in the World

Posted April 24, 2013

In has been 40 years now since a group of grocery store executives collectively decided to help unify product identification with the use of a barcode. No one would have know at that time that a simple set of black and white lines would become one of the most important technologies for trade in the 20th century.

The Universal Product Code (UPC) was the first movement to a standardized tool that every manufacturer and retailer could use to easily track products, maintain inventory better, and help speed up check-out lanes at the point of sale. The humble UPC hasn’t changed much since its creation in April 1973 but continues to provide an easy and efficient means to manage any product throughout its life cycle.

To better illustrate the UPC bar code’s extensive use and importance, Brussels-based nonprofit GS1, which maintains international UPC standards, has posted an online ticker to count the number of bar codes scanned around the world each day. According to GS1, the average number of daily scans clocks in at more than 5 billion! To think all this started with the first scan of a 10-pack of Juicy Fruit gum at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, OH in 1974.

40 years and still going strong, barcodes are an essential tool for any type of tracking in any business type. With regular advances in scanner technology and the evolution of newer  2D barcodes like QR and Datamatrix codes, barcodes will continue to be a vital technology well into the 21st century and beyond.

To find all the ways barcodes and Auto-ID technologies can help your business, contact us at BarcodeInc.

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