A new packaging material has been launched, which is claimed to stop scanning problems and prevent retailers undercharging for multi-packs at the till.
It has been introduced by Hi-Cone, an international leader in multi-packaging for beverage, food and consumer goods; and is said to be the result of 10 years’ development and a multi-million pound budget.
Price scanners sometimes mistakenly register the barcode of a single can or bottle in a multi-pack, rather than the whole product itself, so significantly undercharging the customer, said Hi-Cone.
The new packaging contains a chemical additive, which prevents scanners from reading the barcodes on individual cans or bottles – only the one on the multipack can be registered.
Hi-Cone said it developed the packaging in response to major concerns from retailers who are losing large sums of money as consumers are charged for just one can or bottle rather than the whole pack, which could contain up to 12 items.
Double scanning is a growing problem in the UK and throughout Europe as infra red scanners become increasingly sensitive and multi-packaging materials more lightweight, it said.
The barcode blocker will be available in special orders of Hi-Cone’s environmentally-friendly multi-packaging for cans and PET or glass bottles.
UK retailers and brands currently have to resort to supplying two separate sets of can and bottles to avoid double scanning – those for individual sale, which all have barcodes, and those for multipacks, which do not.
However, this is an expensive solution and makes stock control more difficult, said Hi-Cone.
Across Europe, retailers are understood to be considering heavy penalties for brands when barcodes double scan, the company claims.
Hi-Cone said it is discussing rollout of the new packaging mateiral with several customers in the fast moving consumer goods industry.
Ton Hoppenbrouwers, Hi-Cone’s European director of business development, said: “Double scanning is a real problem for retailers so we are delighted to have found a solution with this remarkable breakthrough. It fits well in our win-win strategy, by offering new packs which deliver benefits to both retailers as well as beverage companies.
“Following Hi-Cone´s MIN=MAX strategy, these new multipacks offer added value, without increasing weight or volume to the packaging supply chain.”