Food for Thought


November 2019

GS1 Canada is pleased to bring you the November 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

GS1 Canada Featured in Grocery Business Magazine

We are excited to share GS1 Canada’s feature insert in the recent issue of Grocery Business Magazine. In this spread, we discussed how we support our subscribers – including retailers, brand owners, operators and distributors – in meeting their business objectives, as well as customer expectations in the ever-evolving world of Canadian business.

The feature also highlighted:

  • GS1 Canada’s operating principles
  • The value of GS1 Global Standards
  • The five-stage gate decision process for addressing non-competitive industry needs
  • Our four key industry roles – standard developers, community manager, implementation partner and educator – and their impact of data excellent.

Click here to read the full GS1 Canada feature in Grocery Business Magazine.

What’s Happening at GS1 Global

Trust Starts with Traceability - Connect the Dots with GS1 Standards

For more than a decade, the GS1 Global Traceability Standard has been at the forefront of guiding the implementation of traceability solutions, from upstream suppliers to consumers and patients.

The GS1 Global Traceability Standard provides a framework for the design of interoperable traceability systems, making it possible for different traceability systems to:

  • Speak to each other using a common language.
  • Help organizations to access, combine and interpret data from a variety of sources across the end-to-end supply chain.
  • Allow each trading partner to choose whichever GS1-enabled traceability solution best meets its specific needs.

Recently, GS1 Global interviewed leaders from organizations across multiple industries to learn more about the importance of traceability to their business and how GS1 Global Traceability Standard can help build transparency and visibility across the whole value chain.

Find out more about the GS1 Global Traceability Standard and watch industry testimonials.

New Data Recipients at GS1 Canada

GS1 Canada is pleased to welcome two new data recipients: Pratts Wholesale and Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Pratts Food Service has taken great pride in being an industry leader for communities in Western Canada. Established in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1910, they have expanded their facilities to Saskatchewan and Alberta to better service their customers. Catering to Foodservice, Hospitality, Grocery and Retail Convenience, Pratts continues to provide industry leading selection, supply and top shelf service. Pratts has 512,000 square feet of refrigerated and freezer storage across all their facilities with a 40,000 square feet expansion planned for their Alberta facility in 2020.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is an Ontario government enterprise and one of the world’s largest buyers and retailers of beverage alcohol. Through more than 660 retail stores, catalogues, eCommerce sites, special order services and over 210 agency stores, the LCBO provides cost effective, convenient and socially responsible access to beverage alcohol across the province. As wholesaler to almost 250 Grocery stores, the LCBO offers more than 28,000 products annually, from more than 80 countries, to end consumers and licensed establishments.

New Data Recipients on TrueSource™ Dashboard

TrueSource™ Dashboard is a standardized industry data excellence tool that enables people across your organization to track product metrics for any GS1 Canada Industry Managed Solution (IMS) you are engaged in from a centralized, easy-to-navigate location.

Visible to both data providers and data recipients, TrueSource™ Dashboard creates transparency to the status of product content in ECCnet Registry, enabling all trading partners to drive data excellence.

We are excited to share that Horizon Grocery and Wellness has recently joined our TrueSource™ Dashboard as a data recipient:

Horizon Grocery + Wellness is Western Canada’s leading distributor of organic and natural foods, natural personal care items and nutritional health supplements. Horizon is the supplier of major natural, grocery and independent grocery chains, independent natural health stores, buying clubs, restaurants, cafés and specialty retailers via a fleet of trucks and common carriers.

Access TrueSource™ Dashboard under the My Tools section on your myGS1 landing page.

Learn more and view the full list of data recipients currently using TrueSource™ Dashboard by visiting the TrueSource™ Dashboard webpage.

Employee Spotlight

Name: Shawn Porto
Position: Director, Industry Relations
Years at GS1 Canada: Almost 11 years

Before coming to GS1 Canada, Shawn Porto worked for ten years as a business development professional across multiple industries including Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG). In his current role, Shawn is responsible for managing key accounts and working with them to build and execute business strategies. He also participates in cross-functional projects whose main goal is to super-serve subscribers.

Shawn studied Criminal Justice and Public Policy in University of Guelph, and completed Business Marketing program from Georgian College. In addition to traditional education, Shawn continues to learn while at GS1 Canada – focusing on the value of data integrity to Canadian businesses.

On a personal level, Shawn’s inspiration comes from his father who was an assiduous leader at work as well at home.

If it’s Shawn’s turn to choose what’s for dinner, pulled pork and quinoa salad will be on the menu. When you ask Shawn to make a choice for movie night, Good Will Hunting or Moneyball will be featured on screen.

Industry News

2019 Canadian Holiday Outlook

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) recently released their annual Canadian Holiday Outlook, providing some interesting insights for retailers planning their holiday season.

As we approach the 2019 holiday season, Canadians are feeling generally positive about the economy and the state of their personal finances: Canadians will be spending an average of CA$1,593 over the holidays, representing an increase of 1.9% compared to last year, and a quarter of Canadians plan to spend more than last year.

This year’s holiday retail trends also show that multi-channel shopping is on the rise. Seven out of ten holiday shoppers who plan to shop both online and in-store – also known as multi-channel shoppers – will also be spending more than single-channel shoppers. Multi-channel shoppers are estimated to spend around $1,726 on an average during the holiday season. Younger shoppers are leading the charge towards online shopping this year, with millennials continuing to drive the shift to online (55% of their holiday shopping time), and Gen Z shoppers splitting their time 50-50 between online and in-store buying.

One-third of Canadians increasingly favour making their holiday shopping an event – shopping at places where there are restaurants, movie theatres and other entertainment facilities. This trend is largely driven by millennials and their preference for experiences over things. The emergence of augmented reality and improved mobile technology will continue to push retailers to add layers and new experiences to their traditional models.

What’s more, most holiday shoppers are paying attention to sustainability, driven by younger consumers who are more likely to choose sustainable products and products with a traceable origin. Also, two-thirds of consumers are more likely to shop with retailers they trust over the upcoming holiday season.

Click here to read more about the Canadian shopping trend during 2019 holiday season.

Upcoming Events

Meet with representatives from GS1 Canada at these upcoming industry events.

Canadian Grocer:
Thought Leadership CEO Conference

November 19, 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Golden Pencil Awards
November 19, 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lift & Co. Cannabis Expo
January 9-11, 2020
Vancouver, BC, Canada

February 20-23, 2020
Vancouver, BC, Canada

GS1 Canada’s Coming Enhancements

Based on subscriber feedback, we are continually enhancing and improving our tools and solutions.

Our upcoming enhancements include:

  • ECCnet Registry
  • Item Centre
  • ProSYNC

To learn more, visit the Coming Enhancements webpage.

Join a Work Group!

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

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

Visit for more information.

Connect to GS1 Canada’s LinkedIn Page

We invite you to visit GS1 Canada’s LinkedIn company page and connect with us.

We are excited to be leveraging this platform as an additional method for reaching and helping our subscribers and connecting with industry.

Connect with us for the latest news from GS1 Canada, industry insights and use cases to help businesses maximize the benefits from adopting GS1 Global Standards.

Don’t miss out; connect with us on LinkedIn today!

We Want to Hear From You

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

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