Sometimes when you scan a barcode with Fresh - Shopping Organizer you may see 

In Store Code

listed as the description. This is because you have scanned a product where the supermarket has used a restricted use barcode that is intended only for use at that store. These are known as Restricted Circulation Numbers, RCN-12 is a 12-digit Restricted Circulation Number and RCN-13 is a 13-digit Restricted Circulation Number.

Typically these are used for items that are sold by weight, such as cheese, fish, or items from the delicatessen counter. Our database has many such items with a description that a user has entered.

You can check who any barcode has been licensed to at the official GS1 site here:; if you enter a 13 digit code starting 02 it will show "Prefix 20-29 for internal use only". More information about the use of the 20- prefix in the UK can be found here:

To complicate matters, some supermarkets use these codes for their own brand products, rather than just for items sold by weight; and some stores such as ALDI and Lidl use 8 digit codes that start with a 2. e.g.  20951009 Oaklands Unicorn Carrots 350g (Lidl) , 25272666 Bramwells Mint Sauce 180g (ALDI) See:

If you shop at the same store every time, the code should be for the same item/weight; if you shop at another store or in another country however, there is a very small chance that the same code may have been used for a completely different product!

If that happens, or if you see the "In Store Code" message, just tap on an item in the list, edit the description and save it, the next time you scan the same barcode it will use your own description and not the description from our database. 


Normally a barcode on a supermarket item contains a 12 or 13 digit number (called the GTIN-12 or GTIN-13) the first 1 to 3 digits identifies the GS1 Country code, and the next few digits identifies the GS1 Company code, this information can be obtained from the global barcode registries at

To find the name of the item, the whole GTIN must be looked up in a database which the supermarket maintains, and they in turn get the information from their suppliers. Members of the public can find the information by using barcode lookup services like ours or others just by searching on Google! 


Organic Granny Smith Apples

Generic UPC:  0033383009889

LU: 94017


Price Look Up (PLU ) Codes

A PLU sticker is a small sticker containing just 4 or 5 digits applied to individual pieces of fruit or vegetables that are sold loose. PLU codes help cashiers accurately identify and price items, since without the sticker they may not be able to determine whether an apple is a Fuji or a Gala variety or if it's been organically grown by looking at it and, since these two apples could be sold at different prices, it is obviously important for consumers and the supermarkets. A complete list of Global PLU Codes is available on the Web at Organically grown produce have the prefix 9; for example conventionally grown Granny Smith Apples (Large) have a code 4017, and if organically grown would be 94017. 



Fresh fruit and vegetable when sold loose do not have to have a barcode, however pre-packaged fruit and vegetables general do. In the United States and Canada, Fresh Fruit and Vegetables are know as 'produce' and will be found in the supermarket 'produce aisle'; also, in the United States and Canada generic barcodes (Generic UPCs) exist for pre-packaged fresh produce. In 2013 some supermarkets requested suppliers to use their own company specific barcodes, but many generic barcodes are still in use.


Generic UPC

The barcode prefix '033383' is licensed by Produce Marketing Association (PMA) from GS1 US to be used to assign generic UPCs. A generic UPC only identifies the item by commodity name, variety, grade and pack size and type but does not identify the supplier. The list of around 12,000 item numbers and descriptions is maintained by PMA in UPC Online which is only available to subscribers. Items with a Generic barcode may also have a brand label, but the brand cannot be determined from the barcode alone.

Brand Searching

Coming soon! Our Search 'n Scan page will soon enable you to search for products by brand, and if you search on the brand 'PMA' you will find fresh produce that have generic UPC codes!



"The Art of the Larder" is the third book by Claire Thompson and a Kindle Edition is due for release 5 October! 


The Art of the Larder contains 150 dishes that offer everyday meal solutions, all with store cupboard basics at their heart. An organized, methodical and economical kitchen cupboard can be life-changing. Knowing that you can always have a simple, healthy, delicious meal at your fingertips will revolutionise the way you cook and shop. Dishes include buckwheat crêpes, sour cherry and pistachio pilaf, firecracker noodles, red lentil hummus, spiced Moroccan almond pastries, date and semolina bars, honey and nutmeg tea bread. The Art of the Larder is a vital cookbook in every kitchen! 

Since the Kindle app for Android is free we think the Kindle edition is a bargain! Of course we also think that having a well stocked larder (and freezer!) is essential, and think that our Fresh - Shopping Organizer app for Android is just the job for keeping track of what's in stock - and helps to avoid those annoying times when you've just bought yet another coriander refill when it was the cumin that had run out!

Order it from Amazon here 

What's New

We've added a Whats New section on our website to keep you up to date with the latest news on our Fresh - Shopping Organizer app, and as a spoiler the latest news is that version 2.6 has been released on the Google Play Store! Check out the latest news now -- Whats New!

This month we've added thousands of new products into our unique products database from Superdrug in the UK, our database now has over half a million items!

You'll notice that our Barcode Lookup page now has many more products with images, nutrition tables and links to Waitrose and Superdrug, as well as links to Amazon (US) and Amazon (UK), and with the latest update to the Fresh - Shopping Organizer app we are experimenting with Bluetooth LE! Go to the What's New page to find out more!