What do the Numbers on Fruit Stickers Mean? [Revealed]

There have been so many instances where we have purchased fruits from the supermarket to satisfy our intense craving for them. But when we begin to notice tiny stickers with numbers placed on them, we get curious and want to know what do the numbers on fruit stickers mean?

These stickers have a huge significance apart from using them as objects for time pass and they may unravel a lot of things about how your delicious fruits were actually produced. Without further ado, let’s take you on this mystical journey of what those digits mean on your lip-smacking berries.

What do the Numbers on Fruit Stickers Mean?

The cryptic numbers that you see on your fruits are nothing but means to divulge information about how the fruit was produced and the different agricultural techniques that have gone into producing this product.

Some of the basic information which is unveiled with the help of these codes include- nature of the product, how was it grown (naturally or genetically modified) and the country in which it was produced.

The primary purpose of what do the numbers on fruit stickers mean has been explained to you, however there is a lot more waiting in store for you!

Why is it Important to Put these Stickers on Fruits?

The main reason behind why these stickers are placed on fruits is to ensure that these products meet the export quality guidelines of the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS), failing which the product is deemed unfit for export and consumption.

The IFPS is the main international body that regulates the export quality and consumption guidelines for all agricultural produce. The organisation was formed in 2001 to bring about uniformity in agricultural export and was the pioneer behind introducing the concept of Price Look-Up (PLU) numbers to ensure hassle-free exports and purchase.

If you thought that these stickers were simply meant for a fancy label on the fruit, now you know what do the numbers on fruit stickers mean and why it is important to have them on your fruit!

What are the Different Types of Stickers on Your Fruit?

We have discovered what do the numbers on fruit stickers mean and why is it important to have them. But all fruit stickers are not alike and they all begin with different numbers indicating different meanings. In case their meaning perplexes you, let’s get you to understand them for your next visit to the supermarket.

Credit: Steemit

If your fruit sticker begins with the numbers 3 or 4, it means that your product was grown using conventional agricultural methods which are generally used for most fruits and vegetables. These stickers have a four-digit code and always begin with a 3 or 4.

If your fruit sticker contains a five-digit code beginning with an 8, it implies that your produce was genetically modified. Some of the most commonly found genetically modified products include corn, papaya, and soybeans to name a few. However, the IFPS states that it is not mandatory to label genetically modified food and can be freely exported whilst maintaining quality standards.

If the fruit sticker consists of a five-digit code beginning with a 9, it refers to the fact that your fruit was grown organically without the usage of conventional agricultural techniques. Such products are expensive and are considered extremely healthy for consumption.

These codes are universal in nature and are standardised throughout the globe. Now that is one valuable piece of information which you can brag in front of your parents and friends with sheer confidence!


Eventually, we all find these little sticky objects annoying to see and peel off from our fruits and begin to break our heads over them. However, as consumers, we should understand what do the numbers on fruit stickers mean and why they should form an integral part of our shopping strategy.

So the next time you head out for your supermarket tour, you are better equipped as to what do the numbers on fruit stickers mean and buy only the best products for yourself!