JICC Calls for BarCode Comment

The Joint Industry Coupon Committee Friday called for industry comment on a proposed reduction in the size of the GS1 DataBar bar code that appear on coupons.

WASHINGTON — The Joint Industry Coupon Committee Friday called for industry comment on a proposed reduction in the size of the GS1 DataBar bar code that appear on coupons.

The change, proposed by GS1 US on behalf of coupon issuers, would reduce the width of these bar codes by approximately 20%, enabling them to fit on smaller coupons and free up space on larger coupons. The width reduction is made possible by narrowing the width of bars and spaces in the bar code. On a normal coupon, the move will save at least half an inch in total width without reducing the bar code’s data capacity.

The review period for this proposal runs through Nov. 24. Stakeholders are encouraged to contact Logan Kastner, senior manager, industry affairs, Grocery Manufacturers Association at [email protected] to share feedback.

The change is being sought because manufacturers increasingly seek to create more sophisticated offers that require more data to be encoded in the bar code. The additional data increases the size of the bar code and intrudes on space used to explain the offer to the consumer.

Testing of the smaller size bar codes has been conducted by GS1 US and Ohio University, following a plan accepted by the AIM Technical Symbology Committee.

Some manufacturers are already issuing coupons with the smaller dimension, with no detrimental effects being reported.

The JICC includes representatives from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, GS1 US, the Food Marketing Institute, National Grocers Association, and National Association of Chain Drug Stores.