Turns Out, the 4-Digit Code on Fresh Fuits Has Meaning! You'll Want To Hear These Juicy Details

Finally shop with some peace of mind!

We’ve all seen the numbered sticker on the side of fresh fruit. But how many of us actually know the meaning behind it? As it turns out, the four-digit code is pretty important and the source of some valuable information. 


Most likely, you’ve taken a peek at the numbered sticker on the sides of fresh fruit. What you may not know is the four-digit sequence, called a PLU code, is more than just a chance to advertise. The label corresponds to a catalog of important info for producers as well as consumers.

Let’s start with the the basics.

The Four-Digit Code

A fruit or vegetable with this particular number sequence was produced using modern agronomic techniques. In simple terms, the healthy snacks were grown with large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.

Next up: the easy way to recognize genetically modified produce.

The Five-Digit Code Starting with the Number 8


You guessed it- GMO. Fruits and vegetables donning the five-digit code starting with an ‘eight’ were genetically altered during their growth cycle. Generally, you’ll see this type of label on tropical fruits, such as melons, bananas, and papayas.

Moving up the ladder, we stumble upon the ‘good stuff.’

A Five-Digit Code Starting with the Number 9


Produce items tied to this code are the creme of the crop, so to speak. They are the organic (and slightly higher priced) fruits and vegetables at the market. Chemical and pesticide free, these food items are 100% natural.

You’re probably wondering, “what about the fruits and veggies without a sticker at all?” We’re glad you asked.

Fruit with No PLU Code Sticker


Produce items without a PLU sticker are usually imported from various countries. While they don’t require a particular code or number, these fruits and veggies should always include an ‘imported’ label. No sticker at all? Not to worry, they’ve been known to fall off during transit.