Quick-response codes can be useful in a wide variety of applications because of their storage capacity and easy readability, but questions remain over their effect on consumers.

In order to assess the effectiveness of QR codes, Columbia Marketing International recently completed a social media survey on them.

Wenatchee, Wash.-based Columbia Marketing International grows, packs, and ships apples, pears and cherries. In October, the company created a social media contest which gave entrants a chance to win a crate of fresh Ambrosia apples, in addition to kitchen appliances aimed at preparing fresh apples. The contest included an additional, optional survey question about QR implementation on packaging.

“Survey respondents were asked whether they actively scan QR codes on packaging when making product selections,” Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing, said in a news release. “We hoped that the question would provide us with insight on whether consumer trends were climbing with QR code implementation, and whether this was still a worthwhile endeavor for us to pursue.”

More 2,000 people entered the contest, and results indicated that roughly half of consumers actively scan QR codes on packages, indicating they use QR code readers on their handheld devices to learn more about the companies marketing products. About 36% of respondents have never scanned QR codes and 14% were unsure.

“It could be assumed that those respondents unsure about their scanning behavior likely had not scanned a QR code before, thus roughly evening the results between those that actively scan QR codes and those that do not,” Lutz said in the release.

Sheri Anderson, Chandler, Ariz., was randomly selected as the contest winner. Columbia International Marketing plans to continue surveying consumers through social outlets to better understand and respond to changes in consumer behavior.