26th June 2014 is the 40th anniversary of the first product to be scanned with a GS1 barcode.
Forty years ago, on June 26, 1974, Sharon Buchanan was the first cashier to scan a GS1 barcode at a Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio (USA) and Clyde Dawson, director of research and development for Marsh became the first person to purchase a product with a price labeled on the package. That item was a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum that cost 67 cents.
“Imagine if there was no barcode,” said Miguel Lopera, President and CEO of GS1, a neutral, global not-for-profit organisation based in Brussels, Belgium with member organisations in more than 110 countries that oversees most of the barcodes used in the world today. “Can you imagine the lines at the checkouts? Can you imagine how frustrated consumers would be? Just imagine what it would be like one day at a hyper market, a supermarket, if one day the scanner didn’t work and checkout clerks had to manually punch in the barcode on every item. From a business perspective, imagine how the barcode enables a little manufacturer in India to sell his product any place in the world because the label can be read in any country in any language.”