What Does The 4 Digit Sticker On Fresh Produce Mean? We’ve Got All The Juicy Details

numbers on plu sticker on produce means
flickr .

After pushing shopping carts through various crowded supermarkets over the years, we’re rather familiar with the coded stickers on fresh produce … what they actually mean?

Not so much. PLU codes, the numbered sequences printed on top, are more than simple attempts at advertising. 

Holding valuable pieces of information, they’re revealing secrets good enough to eat!

what fruit sticker with number on produce means plu codes

Chef Du Jour Catering

Let’s start with the basics: four-digit PLU codes.

Fruits or veggies with this particular sequence are grown according to agronomic standards. Rather, they sprouted with the help of powerful fertilizers and pesticides.


While this harvesting process might sound scary or unhealthy, it’s actually relatively common! This method is refered to as growing with ‘conventional methods.’ Fruits such as lemons and sananas are perfect examples.

numbers on plu sticker on produce means plu codes


Next on the grocery list: ‘supernatural’ produce.

A five-digit code beginning with the number eight corresponds to -you guessed it- genetically modified fruits and vegetables.

In addition to “standard farming practices,” their genes were somehow enhanced or chemically altered during their growth cycle. These types of labels are usuaoly reserved for rather tropical fruits such as melons, bananas, and papayas.

meaning of plu sticker on produce mean plu codes


Moving up the ‘sticker ladder’, we finally get to the good stuff!

Any produce posting plu codes beginning with the number nine and five letters in length? They’re the ‘best of the best.’ In general, these are the organic, rather pricey, fruits and veggies.

100% natural, these fruits and vegetables were grown without the help of any chemicals or pesticides. All in favor of a healthy snack?

what does plu sticker with number on fruit meean plu codes


… and the fruits and veggies without any visible PLU codes, you may ask?

In general, produce items without a PLU sticker are imported. While they don’t require a particular code or number, they should include an ‘imported’ label.

No sticker at all? Not to worry, they’ve been known to fall off during transit.

what plu sticker on produce means plu codes


If you enjoyed sharing in the secret of PLU codes, don’t forget to SHARE these juicy details with your friends and family on Facebook!


Leave a Reply