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Is It The End Of The Fruit Sticker As We Know It

Fruit Sticker PLU
Clay Miller

There’s a good chance your kid will never peel the Del Monte sticker off a banana and leave it in the most random place possible. Yes, in this era of cheap nostalgia ploys, you’re expected to feel wistful even over that. 

Fruit stickers seem to be on their way toward extinction. Soon, companies will be able to mark their fruit by branding it with a laser.


CLay Miller

The process was just approved in Europe. It was invented several years ago, but laser-branding uses a few chemicals so it took until now for the European Union to rule it was safe.

Clay Miller

There’s no word on when this could come to the U.S. But since the process is cheaper, easier, and more environmentally friendly than producing millions of stickers, it’s really only a matter of time.  A manager at a store I spoke to stated that he was not sure if (or when) this would be happening.

Due to stringent laws on produce sold at stores in the U.S. it has to be clearly marked and labeled. He went on to say that bigger chain stores would have to all be on board with the possible change.

I worked (in younger days) for Kroger. As a cashier, PLU codes were important to know. Some produce is sold as individual, others by weight, by the bunch or bagged. We did have a cheat sheet but after awhile you get to memorize most produce.

4011 – Bananas, by  the pound, 4664 – Tomatoes, by the pound,  4640 – Romaine Lettuce by the bunch and  3379 – Pineapple individual. Crazy I know that I can remember some of these PLU’s. Who knew that there were 17 different varieties of apples or 13 different kinds of Pears? All I know if they take my banana sticker away I’ll  be upset.

Do you think it is a good idea to remove clearly marked stickers and replace with a laser code?

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