sainsbury's bws

Its first ProductDNA pilot will begin with a small number of branded suppliers in the beer, wine and spirits category

Sainsbury’s has signed up to ProductDNA, a cross-industry platform developed to provide easier access to supplier information.

Designed by barcode standards organisation GS1 UK, the platform aims to make it easier for retailers to access information about products, such as nutritional content and sustainability claims.

Sainsbury’s would contribute extensive product knowledge to the system and would test the concept to inform the next stage of development, GS1 said.

The supermarket’s first ProductDNA pilot will begin in early 2020 with a small number of branded suppliers in the beer, wine and spirits category.

Graham Biggart, Sainsbury’s director of commercial operations, said: “ProductDNA has the potential to be a great tool for suppliers, retailers and consumers alike. So we are delighted to join forces with GS1 UK in the development of the platform to give consumers consistent and accurate information across a wide range of products.

“In addition, standardising information flows across industries will make it so much easier for us to launch innovative new products and upgrades in the future. We will initially focus on branded ambient grocery and look forward to extending ProductDNA to other product categories as well as our own-brand ranges.”

Tesco and Ocado were the first retailers to adopt the system, in June 2018, with 50% of the retail grocery market, including Waitrose and Co-op, now committed to building the platform, according to GS1.

More than 170 categories of data - from weight and dimensions to customs, excise and VAT requirements - will be accessible to subscribers in an online catalogue.

GS1 will also audit and verify the data submitted by suppliers, with the catalogue updated in real time. And suppliers will no longer have to enter their data into multiple systems for every retailer.

GS1 CEO Gary Lynch said the “very positive response” to the service from the likes of Unilever, Waitrose, Nestlé, Tesco, P&G, Ocado and General Mills showed there was “a clear need” to streamline the way product data is shared and managed across retail.

“ProductDNA is a fantastic example of the retail industry coming together to develop a solution that touches all aspects of the product supply chain,” he added.

“Initially, suppliers of branded products will share all their product data through a single, standardised process rather than having to complete new-line forms per product for each retailer. In trials we are already seeing the benefits of this streamlined approach, with some brands seeing data accuracy improvements of up to 32%.

“With ProductDNA, retailers can focus on getting the products on to shelves - be that physical or digital. Consumers will benefit from the ability to access the consistent, accurate product information across multiple sales channels that ProductDNA provides, based on their dietary, environmental or religious needs.”