GS1 Canada
Food for Thought

Welcome and Happy Holidays!

December 2020

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

What’s Happening at GS1 Canada

As 2020 draws to a close, we can reflect on the lessons learned during this truly unique year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us and has highlighted the importance of a strong supply chain in ensuring the continued availability of goods to Canadian businesses and consumers. As the global leader in supply chain, our subscribers have counted on us for continued service to ensure your products are available when and as needed.

Looking towards 2021, as Canada recovers from the pandemic, GS1 Canada remains strongly committed to supporting Canadian business and delivering to industry needs through global standard solutions, to data excellence and to ensuring that accurate and complete product data continues to flow between trading partners, fuelling secure and efficient supply chains.

Working Together to Transform the Future of Foodservice

Few industries have been impacted by COVID-19 as much as foodservice – but the foodservice industry is resilient and their ability to react to a changing landscape has been inspiring.

Learn more about how the foodservice industry has adapted as a result of the pandemic and how GS1 Canada supports foodservice as it goes through a transformation.

What’s on the Horizon for Retail eCommerce?

Canadian ecommerce businesses have experienced unprecedented growth and have seen their revenues more than double from 2019 to 2020 with no sign of slowing down over the next few years. Despite becoming a more crucial part of retail over the next few years, ecommerce isn’t set to replace in person brick and mortar shopping.

Canadian in person retail has experienced significant steady growth since May of this year, recovering from its drop in April when Ontario entered its first lockdown. Overall retail sales are nearing pre-pandemic levels, and ecommerce has played a fading role in that recovery. While retail e-commerce sales are still higher than 2019 levels, they’ve declined since their peak in May.

As soon as restrictions lifted and in-store shopping became more accessible, consumers switched back to it which is indicative of customers’ preferences for brick-and-mortar stores, despite ecommerce being more widely available than ever.

While retail ecommerce will keep growing in the years to come, it’s predicted to be at a much slower pace. According to one survey conducted by Statista, Canadian ecommerce sales growth will fall to 7.7% in 2021 and continue to decline through 2024. The astronomical ecommerce growth of mid-2020 isn’t indicative of the industry’s future; the surge in online sales at that time points to necessity rather than consumer preference.

Now that online stores have become an industry standard, it’s no longer enough to merely have an ecommerce site. Retailers must optimize their online channels to stay competitive, just as they do with brick-and-mortar stores.

Learn more about how our ECCnet eCommerce Content Solution can help you optimize the presence of your products on the digital shelf.

Original Article: Retail Insider OCT 23, 2020 – The Future Outlook of Canadian Retail E-Commerce

Link to stats - Statista:

Great Planograms Drive Sales – Are Your Products Poised for Success?

In today’s competitive marketplace, brand owners want to maintain brand consistency, retailers want to optimize their retail space – and both want to drive sales!

Planograms ensure the best use of retail space and increase operational efficiencies when content is captured using a consistent methodology and is accessible from a primary source of truth. Great planograms start with standardized content – accurate and complete product content that enables retailers to determine exactly how much stock they can feature on shelves and displays. In providing standardized product images and precise weights and dimensions, brand owners ensure consistency in their branding and help drive in store sales.

ECCnet Planogram Content is GS1 Canada’s global standards-based solution that ensures everyone in the industry is using the same standardized planogram content, enabling retailers to efficiently build programs and manufacturers to share the same, current content with all trading partners through our one-to-many process.

Learn more about this solution.

Product Content Key for Retailer Health & Wellness Programs

When it comes to groceries, consumers are willing to pay a premium for food items that are ethically produced. The trend toward sustainability is quickly becoming a must-have for retailers wanting to meet the growing consumer demands. Shoppers looking for products that are produced locally is another emerging trend, especially during the pandemic, which has prompted many Canadians to direct their spending towards small and local businesses.

Investing in locally made products reinvests in communities and supports locally owned businesses and producers.To help identify products that are sustainable and locally made, GS1 Canada’s Product Certification - Nutritional Content allows brand owners to highlight this specific product data. This includes attributes such as organic, locally sourced and Product of Canada. These attributes allow retailers to identify products to include in promotions that address consumer demands.

Robust product information directly from brand owners supports brand integrity by offering transparency to support nutrition-related business processes and instill confidence in consumers that their needs are being met.

Learn more today about Product Certification – Nutritional Content.

Easier, Faster Product Recalls Can Help Ensure Consumer Safety and Support Brand Loyalty

Product recalls may happen despite a manufacturer’s or brand owner’s best efforts but, a swift recall and restitution to purchasers can minimize harm to organizations – and in some cases - even improve loyalty to a brand.

When a recall strikes, time is of essence to address consumer safety and limit any reputational damage.

ECCnet Recall is a web-based communication service that helps drive speed, accuracy and traceability of product recalls and withdrawals, resulting in improved organizational efficiencies and consumer safety.

Designed to address the challenges with internal distribution of recalls – such as the use of manual paper or fax-based solutions and the lack of automated processes to efficiently manage identification, tracking and reporting – ECCnet Recall leverages global standards and an efficient mobile based platform to automate recall steps and remove products from the supply chain as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Watch our short animated video to see how the complex process of a recall can be made simpler with ECCnet Recall.

What’s New at GS1 Global

GS1 released their 2019-2020 annual report which outlines how GS1 is growing businesses and changing lives with their work across industries such as retail, consumer goods, online marketplaces and healthcare. The report outlines the collaboration and innovation with public policy stakeholders, traceability partners and users.

Read the GS1 Global 2019-2020 Annual Report.

New Data Recipients at GS1 Canada

GS1 Canada is pleased to welcome the following new data recipients: Dairy Farmers of Canada, MVR Cash & Carry, Beaudry & Cadrin Inc., S.E.C Pasquier and Georgia Main Food Group.

Dairy Farmers of Canada is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canadian dairy producers. Dairy Farmers of Canada strives to create stable conditions for the dairy sector in our country. It also seeks to maintain policies that promote the sustainability of Canadian dairy production and promote dairy products and their health benefits.

MVR Cash & Carry wholesaler is a family owned and operated business. MVR Cash & Carry readily services retailers such as convenience stores, independent grocery chains, restaurants, caterers, bakeries, distributors, non-profit organizations, janitorial and many small businesses.

Beaudry & Cadrin Inc. is the largest independent food wholesaler in Eastern Canada. They enjoy the trust that hundreds of retailers and suppliers have given them over many decades. They sustain their reputation for excellence and outstanding service.

S.E.C Pasquier is the largest independent food market in Quebec with 150,000 square feet. The organization is committed to having quality health food offerings and are committed to promoting Quebec made foods.

Georgia Main Food Group previously H.Y. Louie Co. Limited, is a 115-year-old British Columbia-based family business. Georgia Main Food Group is committed to offering new retail grocery experiences and the freshest foods in their IGA and Fresh St. Market stores in British Columbia.

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 
Beaudry & Cadrin Inc., S.E.C Pasquier and Georgia Main Food Group are now realizing the benefits of TrueSource™ Dashboard.

Business Tips – Your Questions Answered

Q: How do I access my GTINs and Company Prefix Licence?

A: To access your Annual License Company Prefix Licence, please follow the following steps:

  1. Log into myGS1.
  2. Scroll down and on your left-hand side under Helpful Links select: Annual GS1 Company Licence
  3. A new window should open including your GTINs/prefix number under the section GS1 Company GTIN/Prefix(es)

Latest Industry News

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) has released their 2020 Canadian holiday outlook report, highlighting that the success of retailers will depend on those who adapt to our quickly changing business environment and understand what a more digital world means for how they interact with consumers.

Read more here.

Favourite Holiday Treats

Even though the holidays will look a little different this year, we can still take comfort in some holiday treats. Here are some favourites to give a try this season.

Product Enhancements

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

Recent Enhancements (November 9, 2020)

ECCnet Registry
To align with Canadian industry and regulatory requirements for pharmacy, grocery and foodservice sectors on data completeness and data accuracy, certain attributes and business rules were updated in ECCnet Registry (*) to reflect nutritional updates and to address information associated with the transportation of dangerous goods.

Also included:

  • New optional attributes for grocery and foodservice in support of food labelling regulation changes by 2021, including Dietary Folate Equivalents and Choline %DV/RDI.
  • Conversion from optional to mandatory for Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) attributes.
  • French language User Interface (UI) enhancements, including updated messaging and improvements to screen displays.
  • Global standards alignment with the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) to enable data synchronization with global trading partners.
*Updates to ProSYNC and Item Centre were completed in alignment with the above changes.

To learn more, including information required to make updates to your data, please visit the ECCnet Registry Technical Documents Page and review the most recent Release Notes and Coming Enhancements documents.

Product Certification
Product Certification has recently been enhanced to align with planned attribute and standards enhancements for ECCnet Registry, including the addition of these four optional attributes:

  • Folate, Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE)
  • Folate, Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE) UOM
  • Folate, Dietary Folate Equivalents (DFE) %DV/RDI
  • Choline %DV
Action Required: Learn more by reviewing the latest copy of Release Notes on the Product Certification Help Resources page.

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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