How to Find Barcodes on Products

Shane from Supersense
4 minutes reading time
August 18, 2020

Suppose you’re anyone like me, a blind person with a life to live and too few hours in the day. In that case, it can be immensely frustrating scanning around packages for a barcode to identify what the product actually is. Unfortunately, this is something we have been doing for years.

Barcode on the bottom of a blue box

So, last week, in an attempt to gather some information to combat this, I strapped on my mask, and braved the outdoors for an hour at the supermarket in search of barcodes on all types of products. Unfortunately, one of the first things I realized is that there is no single concise place where barcodes reside. Indeed, during my quest, I managed to find more than one barcode on a bag of bread. For an hour, I hunted them out on every side of boxes, bags, and jars. And luckily, after checking a considerable amount of packages, I began to develop a pattern. So, here’s what you need to know about barcodes and their locations on different products.

1. Boxes are easy to scan, and your best bet for finding the barcode is on the back or sides. Occasionally you’ll fınd one on the front, and a barcode on the top or bottom flap is even rarer. But the majority of them are located on the back and sides.

2. Barcodes tend to be on the back of bagged products, somewhere around the bottom. This rule applies to everything from chips and cookie packages to shredded cheese, bread, and bacon.

3. You might have guessed this one already, but in case you haven’t, the barcode on any round bottle or can would be around the side. Some glass bottles will have a small piece of paper on them, like a sticker, and this is almost certainly an indication of a barcode. Still, for others, your best bet is to scan around the circumference of the product.

4. Remember that piece of paper I mentioned? You’ve probably seen it stuck onto the clear plastic covering raw meat as well, and that is the exact location of its barcode.  

Unfortunately, the place of a barcode varies a lot. But as the Supersense team, we are continuously working on ways to make things more efficient for the blind community. This is the reason that we included the barcode scanner in our Supersense app. We hope it helps you find a few more of these pesky things without spending half a day in the supermarket.

If there’s a product type we haven’t mentioned above, or if you find new information about the location of barcodes, just leave a comment below! We would love to hear your experiences, and we look forward to discovering new ways to make Supersense better together!

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