GS1 is important to understand - SKUFood
Sharing is Caring

GS1 is important to understand

At the beginning of the year, we made a list of industry terms that we believed would be beneficial for people to understand. It is interesting to see how many terms we have continued to add as we have conversations with industry stakeholders. Recently, we have had a few businesses reach out and ask about the next steps of getting a barcode so this week we will be diving into GS1.

GS1 stands for Global System Standards. GS1 is the most widely used system standard in the world with the primary industries being healthcare and retail.

Built to improve visibility and efficiency

The concept behind GS1 is the creation of a common language in the background of our systems. It was built to improve our supply chain visibility, efficiency, it also helps with traceability and inventory management for retailers. It has a much wider scope of information that can be captured and tracked that we often do not recognize.

The starting point for most suppliers is to develop a GTIN- Global Trade Item Number and a barcode for their product in GS1. Having these on your product is mandatory to be in major retailers. Barcodes encode product information into the lines and bars that make up the image that can be scanned for accurate information throughout the supply chain. We have talked about auto replenishment, shrink, and the importance of accuracy as products scan through the front end of retail, all of this is possible with the data capture that happens when a barcode is scanned at check out.

More than 6 billion barcodes are scanned daily and more than 250 million product codes carry a GS1 barcode. That is a lot of transactions and data transfer. These transactions do not just happen with finished goods. Every layer of the supply chain has a different set of barcode standards in order to create traceability as product moves. As an example you would have a barcode on your finished product to scan through the cash, a master case barcode to scan product into inventory, and a pallet barcode as it moves in transit. GS1 is an important part of how inventory is managed.

GS1 is used by both the supplier and retailer

GS1 can be divided into three categories of use: Identity, Capture, and Share.

As a supplier you are focusing on how to uniquely identify your product and bring visibility to it throughout the chain.

GS1 is not your only option for barcodes and GTIN but GS1 issued identifiers are often recommended or required by retailers in order to capture and share data through their system. ECCnet is another layer of the GS1 system in the Canadian marketplace to manage product information and simplify the product listing process. ECCnet is where all the details of your product live that are tied back to your GTIN and barcode. We will define and dive deeper into ECCnet in an upcoming week.

We live in data driven world where data integrity and accuracy is an important aspect of the supplier and retailer relationship.

If you're having difficulty with barcodes email me at or call at (902) 957-2028


Kellogg has picked a name

Last year Kellogg announced the plan for strategic split of their company to allow them to focus on growth in specific categories for both companies.

The snacking and plant based company will be called Kellanova and the North American cereal business will be known as WK Kellogg Co. Despite these changes they intend on maintaining the Kellogg branding on packaging as a familiar brand to many consumers.

Where is Peter Speaking?

Learnsphere & BCFB

Supply chain 123 Mar 28th

De Sedulous Women Leaders

Finding the perfect distributor Mar 31st

FCC Winnipeg

Getting on the shelf Apr 4th

Foodpreneur program

Getting ready for retail May 16th

De Sedulous Women Leaders

Pricing and positioning Jun 23rd

De Sedulous Women Leaders

Finding the perfect distributor Jul 14th