So how can a barcode created and printed instantly on the spot identify both the item and its correct pricing?
The barcode begins with a special prefix which identifies it a weight-related item; the standard prefix used globally as stipulated by GS1 is generally 2 or 02. In SA, where normal retail barcodes begin with 600, this lets the Electronic Cash Register (ECR) know that a weight-related price must be charged. Following this prefix, a PLU – Price Look Up – code is employed, which identifies the type of merchandise – for example mature cheddar cheese. You may have noticed these codes displayed at the pricing scale at your local grocery store for the sales assistant to enter when measuring the weight of your item(s).