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What Are Produce Stickers For?

Updated: Feb 28

Do you wonder about the produce sticker on fruits and vegetables?

Who makes the produce stickers for fruits and vegetables?

Produce stickers are critical pieces of information for the grocery store.

In this article we will discuss:

  • What is a produce sticker used for?

  • Who makes produce stickers?

  • What do produce sticker numbers mean?

What is a Produce Sticker Used For?

Placed on each fruit and vegetable in a grocery store is a price look-up code. A price look-up code (PLU) is a group of numbers that identify bulk produce sold in grocery stores and supermarkets. These PLU codes have been used since the 1990s to make check-outs and inventory checks easier to manage.

PLU codes are 4-to-5 digit numbers printed on small stickers on each fruit and vegetable. A PLU code reveals the following:

  • growing method (organic or conventional)

  • commodity (the product)

  • variety

  • size

Who Makes Produce Stickers?

The International Federation for Produce Stickers (IFPS) is responsible for the labeling on produce. The PLU codes for fruits and vegetables are a randomly assigned series of numbers starting with the following:

  • 3000

  • 4000

  • 83000

  • 84000

  • 93000

  • 94000

Are produce stickers edible? (answer at end of article)

  • True

  • False

What Do Produce Stickers Mean?

There is no algorithm involved in the generation of the numbers. The 4-digit codes are reserved for conventionally grown produce. The 5-digit codes that begin with 8 are only used when the 4-digit codes have been assigned and occupied. The 5-digit codes that begin with 9 are reserved for organically grown produce.

There is a limited amount of numbers that can be assigned by the IFPS. The codes must be listed in the IFPS database and designated as Retailer Assigned. Undesignated numbers are reserved for use by the IFPS for the designation of new numbers.

What is Organic?

For more information on conventional and organically grown produce, read our blog post “What is Organic”.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, like and leave us a comment and share with someone!

Poll Answer: True

Now that you are aware of how produce stickers work, it is time to consume some produce. Our smoothie recipe books are perfect for any season and are packed with many different fruits and vegetables. Link below:

In-Season Smoothie Recipe Book (Sumn Slight)

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