Digital labels: new survey shows a majority of European consumers regularly use e-labels to access product information

87% of respondents in favour of rules to ensure information provided is truthful & accurate

Brussels, 15 September 2022 – QR codes have become mainstream with European citizens: eight in ten respondents are now used to scanning them, and over 95% of those who have scanned them on food and beverages are finding that they offer a useful way to get detailed product information.

75% of surveyed consumers say they have scanned a QR code on a food or drink product, and nearly half say that they do so regularly. Convenience, reliance, and readability of information are cited as the greatest advantages of digital labels.

The findings are the result of a representative consumer survey conducted by market research firm Appinio on behalf of spiritsEUROPE across five European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Czechia). It highlights that consumers view digital labels as a modern and user-friendly way of accessing product information. It also shows that their popularity has grown rapidly over the past two years, in line with the huge and sustained shift of economic and educational activity online driven by the covid crisis.

Moreover, citizens want the EU to take action: 87% of respondents tend to favour the introduction of policies to ensure that product-specific information conveyed digitally (such as via a QR code or barcode scan) is truthful and accurate.

“Consumers across Europe see clear added value in accessing product information via digital labels – and that’s exactly what they are doing in the thousands every single day. The upcoming revision of EU food labelling rules offers a chance to regulate the use of e-labels on food & drink products. We call on the European Commission not to miss this unique opportunity and include provisions on e-labels in the upcoming proposal for a Regulation on Food Information to Consumers”, said Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE.

The spirits sector, together with the wine sector, has taken on a leading role in Europe’s food and drink industry to develop product-specific e-labels and provide consumer information via digital means. One year ago, both sectors launched U-LABEL, an innovative e-label platform that enables consumers across Europe to access information via QR code technology about the wine and spirits products they purchase, in their own language in a marketing-free environment. The system is currently being rolled out on a growing number of products.

“Today, digital labelling solutions are readily available for producers and consumers of food and drink products – and increasingly used by both. We need policy guidance and rules to develop this innovative, forward-looking approach further and ensure that digital consumer information is truthful, reliable, and accurate,” Adam concluded.


For further information, please contact: Ulrich Adam, Director General

Tel: + 32 (2) 477636751 -

  • spiritsEUROPE proudly represents the EU spirits sector, one of Europe’s most valuable agri-food export sectors and, with it, the interests of 31 associations of spirits producers as well as 11 leading multinational companies. More information can be found at our website.
  • To access the survey results: click here

  • Memorandum of Understanding on consumer information, signed on 4 June 2019, wherein spiritsEUROPE commits to ensure that, by the end of 2022, information on the nutrition and ingredients of all spirits sold in the EU is made available to consumers.
  • The U-LABEL platform is an online tool created to provide EU consumers with relevant, accurate and detailed information about their products by means of an e-label, accessible to consumers through a QR-code printed on the back-label of the bottle.
  • Consumer information on responsible drinking can be found at
  • The survey was performed in English by Appinio and included the responses of 5000 consumers, both male and female, from 5 European countries: the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Spain and Germany.


15.09.2022 Digital labels: new survey shows a majority of European consumers regularly use e-labels to access product information
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