Marking consumer packages

Items handled at a store's checkout are barcoded so that the item number can be read quickly and easily. Using the item number, the name of the item and its price are fetched from the store's article database and printed on the receipt. The item number is also used to collect reliable sales statistics for purchasing decisions, profitability monitoring, and shelf space planning.

Item numbers and barcodes for consumer packages

Consumer packages are numbered with a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) or a variable measure number and barcoded using EAN‑13 or EAN‑8.

  • GTIN‑13 is the most common number for consumer packages and is encoded using an EAN‑13 barcode. To create the number you need a GS1 Company Prefix.
  • Consumer packages with variable weight, such as meat, fish or cheese, are numbered with a national variable measure number which is encoded using an EAN‑13 barcode. To create a variable measure number you need a GS1 Variable Measure Prefix.
  • Small items with limited space for a barcode can, in exceptional cases, be numbered with a GTIN‑8, and this number is encoded using an EAN‑8 barcode. To create a GTIN‑8 number you need a special GS1‑8 Prefix.