If you aren’t experienced in running a food business, there is one cost that will bite you hard – barcodes.

The average person will barely consider the world of barcodes, but as a small food business owner, you will soon be entering a steep and expensive learning curve.

Food Action is half of a business that also manufactures drinks that are sold through Foodstuffs supermarkets. When I started the business I had about 12 years of experience in the food industry as a food technologist and food engineer; and despite this, didn’t fully understand the implications of being a barcode owner.

When you start out you have 2 options – buy a cheap and non compliant barcode off the internet, or subscribe to GS1 who officially administer barcodes in NZ. The first option will set you back less than $100, the second option will be about $400+ per year, but you get up to 100 barcodes for that.

A lot of people start off with the cheap option on the internet. The problem is that when they try to get into the supermarkets, they won’t be able to use that barcode and they might be stuck with thousands of dollars worth of useless packaging.

They will then have to get all their packaging redesigned, and almost always the designer will stuff up the barcode, so even though the barcode number is compliant, the image of it won’t be and GS1 won’t verify it. Without that verification certificate, you won’t get into the supermarket. This is often when we’ll be asked to get involved, and what started off as a simple process becomes complicated and confusing.

This is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to get us onboard as early as possible in your plans for starting a business. There are lots of stumbling points like this that we can help you avoid.

Getting your barcodes wrong can often slow you from getting into the supermarkets by months. If your timing is wrong, and you hit a moratorium, then it could be 6 months or more. Think about the cost of losing 6 months worth of supermarket sales!

If you are just getting started, give us a no obligation call on 0800 475 463 and we can help out with those tricky stumbling points you probably won’t see coming.