Perusing the fresh chicken at your grocery store and just can’t decide what to buy? If you spy a QR code on some of the packages, give it a scan – and a coupon could help make up your mind.

Proving that everything old is new again, Foster Farms is putting QR codes on all of its fresh chicken packages. The effort is personified by “DORI”, a “friendly emoji style” virtual assistant whose name stands for “Deals, Origin, Recipes, Info” – which is what you’ll gain access to by scanning the code with your phone.

“As more shoppers and retailers embrace scannable technology, including QR codes, we see DORI as a new channel to deliver information about our products and reward our loyalists,” said Ira Brill, director of communications for Foster Farms. “People are looking for convenience and savings and want to know more about where their food comes from. DORI is a new tool for us to share information that our consumers care about.”

The QR code will direct you to a site that offers a look at Foster Farms’ history, a guide to poultry labeling terms, hundreds of chicken recipes for inspiration and – perhaps most importantly for the value-seeking shopper – coupons. The site sends you to Coupons.com, where you can clip existing digital offers like 75 cents off any Foster Farms’ Fresh and Natural chicken, or $1.25 off organic chicken.

Sure, you could go directly to Coupons.com, or open your store’s website or app, to clip the coupons yourself. But Foster Farms plans to put DORI to use for other forms of savings as well, such as “flash sales” and exclusive offers like a high-value $5 off coupon that DORI offered just last week. So instead of scanning through a coupon gallery filled with hundreds of offers, hoping to find a deal on exactly what you want to buy, Foster Farms aims to entice you to head straight to its offers to help make your decision easier.


Foster Farms’ fresh chicken products are available primarily on the West Coast, so you’re unlikely to see the codes if you live elsewhere. But by next year, the company plans to introduce DORI to all of its packaged products, such as corn dogs, which are more widely available across the country.

QR codes were once touted as the wave of the future, but they fell out of favor after many people who tried the technology once or twice couldn’t be bothered using it with any regularity. The process can be clunky, when you have to download and open a separate app just to scan a code, which takes you to a mobile website that you could have just typed into your browser yourself.

But as Juniper Research pointed out in a study published earlier this year, a recent Apple software update now allows QR codes to be read directly from iPhone cameras without the need for a separate app, which makes scanning codes much easier and more convenient. “Juniper therefore believes that QR codes could see a rapid increase,” its report read. So Juniper predicted that the number of QR code coupons redeemed will reach 5.3 billion by 2022, more than four times as many as the estimated 1.3 billion redeemed in 2017.

“QR codes have the ability to connect physical, paper-based coupons to a digital environment, allowing consumers to rapidly access greater detail relating to a product and offer, as well as speeding up the redemption process,” the report read.

And Foster Farms apparently took Juniper’s findings to heart, citing the research company’s report in announcing DORI’s debut. “A QR code resurgence is predicted by technology industry analysts,” Foster Farms’ announcement read. “DORI is paving the way for greater access to information and savings in the fresh poultry case.”

So will DORI radically change the way you shop? Maybe not. While Juniper’s report was bullish about QR codes’ future, it conceded that their future may be limited. Its report predicted that QR codes will find themselves “in competition with other technologies… meaning their time may be short-lived anyway as these new technologies are increasingly taken up by consumers.”

While we await new technologies that might someday make shopping, saving and couponing even easier, you might want to keep your phone handy the next time you go grocery shopping. Coupons that could help you save money here and now, could be just a scan away.

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