GS1 Canada
Food for Thought


April 2021

GS1 Canada is pleased to bring you the April edition of the Food for Thought. With every edition, we will bring you the latest insights, news and trends.

What’s Happening at GS1 Canada

New Government Regulations on the Horizon for Canadian Businesses

As a business operating in Canada and beyond our borders, it is important to stay abreast of regulatory requirements.

Health Canada Food Labelling Requirements

In 2016, the Government of Canada introduced new food labelling regulations in support of Health Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy.

The amendments to the Food & Drug Regulations related to nutritional labeling came into effect on December 14, 2016.

GS1 Canada systems have been aligned to these changes to nutritional content so that mandatory attributes are in place for the new regulatory requirements to help ensure your compliance. For more information about the changes, click here.

If your product label has changed to meet the new nutritional requirements, you will have to:

  • Re-submit your products for Product Image and Data Capture, if applicable.
  • Log in to myGS1 and re-certify products in Product Certification – Nutritional Content and/or update ECCnet Registry, if applicable. For more information, please refer to our FAQs.

US Food & Drug Administration Requirements for Canadian Manufacturers

In accordance with United States Food & Drug Administration (US FDA) Unique Device Identification (UDI) regulation, all Canadian manufacturers using GS1 global standards are required to indicate whether one or more of their organization’s products are classified as a medical device and sold – or will be sold – in the United States.

This US FDA UDI rule identifies how products classified as medical devices are regulated and can be supplied within the US. It covers multiple classes of products sold in the US and includes requirements related to identification, data capture and master data. Products classified as medical devices include surgical instruments, contact lenses and first aid kids, among others.

As part of the US FDA UDI regulation, GS1 is one of the accredited issuing agencies around the world, and GS1 Canada takes on this role for Canadian organizations. This requires that we maintain information of organizations that use the GS1 system to assign a Unique Device Identifier (UDI) to their products if they are sold within the US. This information is required to be provided to the US FDA regularly and GS1 Canada is responsible for updating the information annually.

All organizations using a GS1 company prefix or single use GTIN are required to provide confirmation, whether they sell medical device products in the US or not. GS1 Canada subscribers will be able to provide their confirmation through myGS1 by Q3 2021.

Provide Your Customers with Reliable Product Information: Certify Your Content

Today’s consumer is looking for transparent information to help inform their unique health and lifestyle needs. GS1 Canada’s ECCnet Nutritional Content solution includes Product Certification, a standardized data excellence tool that enables brand owners to provide trading partners with the extended nutritional information they need to create health, dietary and lifestyle programs and personalize the shopping experience in-store and online.

Why Certify?

  • Ensure trading partners are using the most accurate and complete certified nutritional content to protect your brand integrity and instill confidence in the accuracy of the data.
  • Add the extended information about allergens, ingredients, and product claims that retailers use to inform product selection to build programs.
  • Share certified images and data using an efficient one-to-many sharing process from one centralized location, saving time and resources.

The Product Certification tool helps brand owners highlight nutritional aspects of their products that are not typically found on the Nutritional Facts Table. Certify your product content to ensure trading partners have visibility to your accurate and complete nutritional data to fuel nutrition-related business processes. Log in to myGS1 now to start certifying!

Google Highlights the Need for GS1 GTINs

Unique and accurate product information helps brands, manufacturers and retailers, explains new Google blog post.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and organizing product information for shoppers and retailers is an essential part of this mission. In the last year, it has introduced several new experiences that enable brands and retailers to list their products for free on Google, whether that’s on Google Search through a product knowledge panel or on the Shopping tab.

To best help users find their content and products in Search, it is recommended that websites clearly identify products mentioned. Google's recent article providing guidelines for manufacturers, retailers and publishers reinforces that “registering products with the GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) System provides internationally recognized standard identifiers for unique identification of products both in physical stores and on e-commerce platforms.”

Google adopted the use of GS1 GTINs to help enable three essential factors for accurate and trusted product data: unique global identifiers, the ability to verify the identity of each product and a product identification system with global reach.

Read the full article to see the guidelines for manufacturers, retailers, and publishers on how to ensure that Google understands the products they are selling or referencing.

Visit GS1 Canada for more information on GTINs, Barcodes and Global Standards:

What's Happening at GS1 Global

Register for Upcoming GLN Industry Webinar

Modern business needs are making details related to "who" and "where" more critical than ever. Over the last year, GS1 has been taking a holistic approach to address industry’s party and location use case needs throughout world. Now we are inviting you for a webinar on April 14, 2021 to provide an overview of current activities and what will be happening as the journey continues as it relates to industry needs, standards, and Global Location Number (GLN) registries.

It will be the first step for you to support and influence the way forward and to ensure the future GLN Registry is fit for your business.

The webinar will cover the following topics:

  • What is a GLN?
  • What is the GS1 Registry Platform
  • What are the use cases and features?
  • How is GLN benefiting industry?
  • Next steps

Date: April 14, 2021


  • East session 08:00 – 09:00 CET ((0:00 PDT, 03:00 EDT, 15:00 CST, 19:00 AEDT)
  • West session 16:00 – 17:00 CET (02:00 AEDT, 08:00 PDT, 11:00 EDT, 23:00 CST)

Cost: This webinar is free.

Register here.

50th Anniversary of the GTIN

March 31, 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the GTIN.

On that day in 1971, industry leaders in grocery agreed to use a universal product code for product identification. That unique identifier is called the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) today.

Through industry collaboration, innovation, and leadership, that historic meeting was the beginning of GS1 global standards. There are now over 6 billion scans of GS1 barcodes around the world every day.

Today, with much greater need for unique product identification, accurate data and more product detail to support global omni-channel needs, the need to collaborate, think big and innovate is more important than ever.

The next 50 years begins now!

GS1 Global Forum Goes Virtual

Every year, GS1 member organizations from around the world come together to share knowledge and information about standards and industry news from around the world.

GS1 Global successfully executed its first virtual global conference on March 1 to3, 2021. The conference included over 2700 participants from 111 countries and featured 150 speakers and 85 workshop sessions. Congratulations to the GS1 Global office for hosting a conference that was filled with amazing collaboration and teamwork from around the world.

New Data Recipients at GS1 Canada

GS1 Canada is pleased to welcome the following new data recipients:

Eskimo Point Lumber Supply
Founded in 1974, Eskimo Point Lumber Supply is a Nunavut based retailer and distributor providing a wide range of goods and services to Northern communities where resources are often limited.

Nature's Emporium
One of Canada's premier health food markets - with locations in both Newmarket and Vaughan - sharing the world’s finest pure, natural and organic foods, vitamins, supplements, gluten-free, traditionally raised grass-fed meats, raw foods, natural skin care, cosmetics and home supplies as well as sustainable, eco-friendly clothing for the whole family.

TrueSource™ Dashboard

Keep Score with TrueSource™ Dashboard

Did you know that viewing your compliance scores with your trading partners can help identify gaps and ensure you have 100% accurate and complete product content, helping improve relationships and increase opportunities?

TrueSource™ Dashboard enables you to:

  • Identify products that are missing content to help ensure the completeness of your product catalogue.
  • Use the discontinued products report to help you maintain an up-to-date Marketing and Planogram repository.
  • View the status of your GTIN Discrepancy Report to help address and resolve any pending discrepancies with your trading partners.

Get Started Today

Subscribers to GS1 Canada’s Industry Managed Solutions (IMS) have access to TrueSource™ Dashboard as part of their subscription. You can access TrueSource™ Dashboard under the My Tools section of your myGS1 home page.

To learn more and view the full list of data recipients currently using this tool, visit the TrueSource™ Dashboard webpage.

New Data Recipient on TrueSource™ Dashboard

Parkland is now realizing the benefits of TrueSource™ Dashboard.

Your Questions Answered

Q: How can I get barcodes for my products?

A: Unsure how to barcode your products? Follow this five-simple steps.

  • Step One: Get a GS1 Company Prefix and GTIN
  • Step Two: Choose Product (GTIN) or Location (GLN) Identification
  • Step Three: Determine Barcode Type
  • Step Four: Placing Barcodes on Products
  • Step Five: Test/Verify Printed Barcodes
For information on these steps, visit here.

Industry News

Things to Expect in the Canadian Foodservice Industry

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on foodservice. One year after the start of the pandemic, Technomic Inc., a management consultancy who provides a 360 degree view of foodservice, made some key predictions for this resilient industry in 2021.

  • The road to recovery will steady with sales expected to see a 14 to 17 percent growth in 2021.
  • Taking a stronger stand and doubling down on efforts on social and environmental progress.
  • Sustainable off-premise strategies, which will include smaller dining rooms, multiple drive-thru lanes, curbside pick-up spots and in-store pickup and grab-and-go stations.

Read more:

eCommerce Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

As the pandemic continues, so does the shift away from shopping in physical stores in favour of digital commerce. As businesses look to get more traction for their ecommerce brands, drive more traffic, and convert it into buying customers, they look to adopt to the latest trends shaping the industry.

Here are a few potential ecommerce trends to watch for in 2021:

Use of Online Marketplace Websites Will Increase

Shoppers are expected to continue to turn to online marketplaces for easier and more convenient shopping experiences that often include shopping for multiple types of products on a single site, next-day shipping, as well as free returns on most items. Understanding this trend, independent ecommerce sites must ensure they are better able to compete with established marketplaces.

Voice Commerce Will Rise

People are increasingly relying on voice assistant devices like the Amazon Echo with Alexa and the Google Home with Google Assistant to do everything from waking them to buying products online. Voice-enabled tech is creating a new communications channel for retailers and customers, and it is estimated that almost 50% of Canadian households will have a smart hub by 2025(1).

Emergence of New Payment Options

As of now, most ecommerce businesses accept digital wallets such as Google Pay, Samsung or Apple Pay, and PayPal in addition to debit and credit cards. Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, are slated to be added to the growing list of payment options, as they are believed to have many benefits for online shop owners, such as low transaction fees and no reverse transactions.

Social Media Channels Beyond Socializing

It is expected that people will engage in various actions on social media, from seeking out inspiration from friends and brands, direct messaging friends for opinions, all while shopping and making purchases directly on those channels. Brands are realizing the opportunity they have in creating seamless ecommerce experiences directly within social channels.

Making a Purchase Directly While Watching TV

It’s anticipated that television viewers will soon be able to click, find, and purchase an item they see while watching a television program. Shoppable TV could finally connect viewing and shopping into a seamless experience that benefits both shoppers and retailers in 2021.

Retailers must optimize their online channels based on the latest market trends to stay competitive, just as they do with brick-and-mortar stores(2).

Statista, 2019, SmartHome Market Outlook, Statista
James Careless, 2020, Will 2020 See a Breakout for Shoppable TV?, TVTechnology

Upcoming Webinars and Events

Check out the upcoming virtual grocery and foodservice industry webinars and events.

CHFA Connect
April 16/17, 2021

DTL Quebec Forum
April 29, 2021

GSF West Retailer Connect
May 11/12, 2021

ECCnet Industry Managed Solutions: Product Enhancements

As part of our commitment to improving our subscriber experience and delivering to industry needs, we are continually enhancing our solutions and tools.

Visit our Coming Enhancements Webpage regularly for details on recent and upcoming product updates and enhancements.

Join a Work Group!

Feedback and input from our users, including the ongoing review of attributes and solution requirements, are key elements in ensuring solutions continue to deliver value to subscribers and meet industry needs.

Every GS1 Canada subscriber has an opportunity to represent industry interests through active participation in a community workgroup.

Visit for more information.

Got Questions?

Got Questions?

Your questions on your GS1 Canada account, barcodes, product images and more answered!

We Want to Hear from You

Tell us what you think about the Food for Thought newsletter, our solutions and anything GS1 Canada related.

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