QR Code Reviews – Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste

QR Code Reviews - Gourmet Garden Cilantro PasteMaking effective QR codes takes work.  To shortcut the amount of learning and work required, you can look at how others are using QR codes.  By using the best techniques you find and avoiding the worst problems, you can make your QR codes be the best they can be.

QR Code Reviews - Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste - QR codeToday we look at a QR code found on a tube of Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste.  Just the thing to add a bit of flavor to your favorite dish without all the chopping.  This QR code measures about 1 inch square but does not include a call-to-action or URL.

This tube was found in a local Publix in the produce section.  If you don’t have a Publix near by, check your local Target (sold in stores according to the website).

The encoded data is a URL: http://goo.gl/3aQQ8

QR Code Reviews - Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste - iPhone screen

QR Code Reviews - Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste - iPhone screen - Correct URL

QR Code Reviews - Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste - iPhone screen in landscape - Correct URL

Overall rating: 1 out of 5

QR Code Reviews - Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste - Rating - 1 out of 5

7 Key Aspects to Great QR codes

Here are some important questions that all great QR codes need to answer:

Is there a good call-to-action near the QR code?

  • There is no call-to-action

What does the QR code look like (colors, design, etc)?

  • The QR code is the standard black elements on a white background.

Is the QR code easy to find and incorporated into the overall design?

  • This QR code is easy to find, right on the front of the package.

What happens when you scan the code?

  • You are taken to a landing page that does not exist; encoded URL is incorrect.

If a URL is encoded, is the landing page mobile friendly and designed well?

  • The landing page does not exist.

If a URL is encoded, does it utilize a redirect to help with future changes?

  • The encoded data utilizes a Google redirect which also, as it seems, generated the QR code at the same time

Does the action of the scan provide value to the customer?

  • Since the landing page does not exist (or more accurately, the URL is wrong), there is no value to the customer, unless it could be negative value.

What We Can Learn

It’s hard to have a positive opinion about the QR code on this tube of Gourmet Garden Cilantro Paste but there are several good points.  First, the code is about 1 inch square and is easy to find on the front of the tube.  Unfortunately, there is no call-to-action or URL.  The encoded data utilizes a Google shortened URL.  This detail is very interesting since anyone (even you, the reader) can track the traffic.  Neat feature that we are seeing for the first time after 100+ QR code reviews.

When scanned, you are taken… nowhere.  A dead page.  404 error.  Bummer.

As far as I can tell, here is the correct URL – http://m.gourmetgarden.com/us/products/cilantro

From a user perspective, the QR code is in a great location to be noticed.  With no call-to-action or URL, chances are slim that it will get much use (as we can see from the traffic; 808 clicks as of this post since Dec 20, 2011, with a 200+ visit spike in June 2013).  If you do scan the code, the page does not exist.  major bummer.  Things may have changed in the past 3 years but a simple 301 redirect could fix this issue.

Luckily, the real landing page looks great on an iPhone 4S.  There is so much potential for goodness with this QR code.

How can we help Gourmet Garden?

Using Google to track the traffic is not a bad idea but the landing page must exist.  Since the encoded data is a redirected URL, the first order of business would be to redirect that URL to the correct landing page.  If that is not possible, a simple 301 redirect can fix the problem.  Please….. PLEASE…. fix this problem.

A call-to-action would be a great addition to the product design.  Since the correct landing page has recipes, a possible call-to-action could be “Scan here for recipes” or something similar.  Nothing too fancy, just encouraging the customer to scan the code and telling them what to expect when they do.


When making your own QR codes, keep the following in mind:

  • If you do nothing else, ever, with your QR code campaigns, make sure they work.  If you are going to redesign your website, make sure the products you are selling do not direct customers to a website or page that does not exist.
  • When you have valuable information on your landing page, let your customers know with a good call-to-action.  If you don’t tell customers about your site, chances are pretty good they will not find it.

We are starting to see QR codes on a large variety of products.  I’ve seen them on a can of black eye peasbrake padssilicone spray, a box of doughnuts, plantain chips, and many more.  What products have you noticed with QR codes lately?

If you have questions about how to get started using QR codes in your business, how to use QR codes more effectively, or how fix a QR code issue, let me help.   If you want to learn more about QR codes, check out my free e-book.