GS1 Canada
Food for Thought


February 2021

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

What’s Happening at GS1 Canada

Quebec Government Launches Shop Local Strategy

In September 2020, the Quebec government launched a strategy to encourage consumers to purchase foods produced or processed in Quebec. The strategy’s goal is for all public institutions to make purchasing Quebec products a priority by 2025.

As part of this strategy, the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) has selected GS1 Canada’s ECCnet Registry as their primary data source to support their Quebec Food Registry. The Quebec Food Registry is a comprehensive source of information on Québec’s bio-food products intended to enable both food industry professionals and consumers to discover Quebec’s diverse food industry.

Here are the steps to have your products added into the Quebec Food Registry:

  • If you haven’t already, subscribe to GS1 Canada and register for ProSYNC.
  • Add Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) as a trading partner in myGS1.
  • While publishing your products to MAPAQ, make sure to include the following certifications:
    • Aliments du Québec
    • Aliments préparés au Québec
    • Aliments du Québec BIO
    • Aliments préparés au Québec BIO
    • Product Processing Provinces
    • Product Packaging Province
  • To improve your visibility in the directory ensure you have your product images for planogram, marketing, nutritional and eCommerce Content. If you haven’t captured these images yet, submit your products for Content Capture.

Learn more about the strategy here. Please note this webpage is only available in French.

For more information about having your products added into the Quebec Food Registry contact GS1 Canada at or 1.800.567.7084.

Welcome Restaurants Canada’s Todd Barclay to GS1 Canada’s Foodservice Board

Todd Barclay, CEO, Restaurants Canada, has recently joined GS1 Canada’s Foodservice Board. He brings to the table over 20 years of senior leadership experience across his roles with Cardinal Meats, Swiss Chalet (under Recipe Unlimited) and Lexmark Canada. Todd has also had experience as an independent restaurateur as he owned a small café.

The Foodservice Board is one of GS1 Canada’s five sector boards that are part of our robust governance structure. Each Board is responsible for identifying strategic initiatives and address non-competitive issues through the implementation of non-proprietary standards and solutions. Get more information on GS1 Canada’s Boards here.

“Our industry, which employs over one million Canadians, and as a critical part of the national economy, is currently facing significant challenges. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we are actively setting our sights on what we can do today to support our members, how we can help the industry recover and thrive in the short term, and then support the industry into the future”, said Todd.

Healthy Eating Trends Inform Retail Assortment

According to a recent report from Nestlé Professional, “consumers want to have access to better-for-you food choices that suit their individual needs, tastes and goals”1. Health is a very personal matter, and consumers are looking to make food and beverage choices that meet their personal health and lifestyle needs. These choices include food described as all natural, organic, vegan, halal, high in fibre or low in sugar. Product claims including descriptors such as gluten-free or dairy-free have also seen a surge in popularity.

Health-conscious consumers are looking for foods that have specific functional benefits and that support their health. Providing a variety of choices that fit with the current definition of health, in combination with retail promotions, can enable consumers to easily identify products that meet their needs.

Learn about how our ECCnet Nutritional Content solution provides a centralized location for brand owners to include rich product information to inform the buying decisions of retailers and consumers.

1 Nestle Professional 2020 – Food & Beverage Industry Trends 2020.

Regulatory Amendments to Food Labelling Underway – Are You Ready?

Transition period for making required changes ends December 2021

Health Canada announced several regulatory amendments to the labelling of food and beverages in late 2016 with the objective of making it easier for consumers to determine the nutritional value of similar products, all while making it easier to compare products.

One of the main changes is the inclusion of the daily percentage value of total sugars in the Nutrition Facts Table and to disclose, and group, sugar-based ingredients. This new regulation will serve as incentive for companies and manufacturers to place greater emphasis on natural and less processed products, which will further encourage sales of naturally healthy packaged foods.

In response, GS1 Canada has been making updates to ECCnet Registry since 2016 to align our systems with the changes to nutritional content. Our system is up to date with the attributes required to support the changes mandated by the new regulations. In response to the regulatory changes, GS1 Canada’s role is to bring awareness to our subscribers and ensure our solutions enable them to make the necessary updates to remain compliant. By using GS1 Canada solutions, subscribers can validate product content to ensure data integrity and regulatory compliance.

To maintain data excellence, subscribers are asked to ensure their product content is kept up to date in ECCnet Registry for Foodservice and Product Certification – Nutritional. If subscribers have made updates to their products, they will need to send them in for Image and Data Content Capture services. In Product Certification – Nutritional, subscribers will have to review and certify product information that has been updated.

As of December 14, 2021, the transition period for making these changes to food labels ends and all new requirements must be implemented. For more information, visit:

What’s New at GS1 Global

As 2020 has wrapped up, GS1’s Innovation Board published a Trend Research report. This report focusses on navigating the new normal in the pandemic era, as well as the shifts in consumer behaviours towards adopting digital technology, the use of online marketplaces and embracing remote access to healthcare services. The themes that have been foundational in this report include resilience and flexibility, collaboration and connectivity, as well as innovation and diversification.

Read more here.

New Data Recipients at GS1 Canada

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

Askew's Foods
Since 1929, Askew’s Foods has been serving the Shuswap Okanagan community and supporting local producers while bringing quality foods to consumers. Having four Askew’s stores in the Shuswap Okanagan region, the family business is focussed on evolving and expanding to serve the changing needs of the customers in the area.

Sunshine Drugs Family of Pharmacies
Sunshine Drugs Family of Pharmacies is a family-owned business with 14 locations in Southwestern Ontario operating under the IDA and Guardian banners. They are leading the transformation in healthcare services from a product-focused model to a patient centric approach to customize each patient’s healthcare plan. Many of their locations have expanded their product offering to include a variety of popular consumer product categories.

Business Tips – Your Questions Answered

Q: How can I arrange to get images and data for my products?

A: To arrange your product image and data capture, please schedule your products for submission through the Content Capture Service Request tool. For more information about our Product and Image Capture Services, click here.

Latest Industry News

Update on Canada’s Foodservice Industry

In 2020, the foodservice industry experienced unprecedented restaurant closures, which resulted in over 800,000 job losses. Despite facing hard times, restaurant and hospitality venues gave back to the community through several initiatives including providing free meals to frontline workers, donating to the website and supporting Restaurants Canada’s efforts for the revival of this critical industry.

For more information about the work that Restaurants Canada and their upcoming virtual show, read here.

Watch for Top Food-Related Trends in 2021

2020 took the food industry by storm. As we head into 2021, here are some of the top food-related trends to watch for according to Canadian Grocer:

  1. Making and eating more meals at home.
  2. Switching to a granola bar instead a big breakfast.
  3. Plant-based products.
  4. Adding immunity boosters and health helpers to your everyday diet.
  5. More private-label offerings.
  6. Overlap between the foodservice and food retail industries.
  7. More demand for transparency.
  8. Reducing food waste.

Read more here.

Upcoming Industry Events

Check out the upcoming virtual grocery and foodservice industry events.

Next by CHFA
February 19, 2021

RC Show
February 28 – March 3, 2021

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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