Cashiers reveal delays, lost profits when scanning fresh food labels

January 15, 2018

Labels on fresh foods are difficult to scan, according to findings of an online survey released by The Harris Poll on January 8—and 90% of cashiers believe that reducing the number of hard-to-scan perishable and store perimeter labels would help improve their productivity and shorten checkout times.

What’s more, better labeling could improve store profits. The new poll, conducted on behalf of Digimarc among 500 grocery cashiers nationwide, revealed that 32% of cashiers said that, when labels could not be scanned, rather than waiting for a price, customers left their purchases behind.

Retail labels are applied to fresh food items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood and cheese products. Dairy items, for example, are the source of the largest number of scanning issues, with nearly half of cashiers (47%) encountering items that did not read when scanned. Cashiers also noted that these dairy items caused problems three or more times per shift.

Meat and seafood items were also challenging, with 63% of cashiers who scan in-store printed labels saying these items at least occasionally caused issues.

 “Sales of fresh food items are increasing and The Harris Poll survey demonstrates the need for reliable and efficient labels for cashiers to scan,” said Heidi Dethloff, vice president of marketing, Digimarc. “[Using a bar code on] packaging and labels, even those that are wrinkled, crinkled, smudged, damaged or torn are easily scanned, preventing delays, ensuring data accuracy, and improving the customer experience.”

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