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Leading grocery retailers and brands commit to industry charter for a common approach to product data management

Digital DNA programme is developing an industry-owned and industry-governed solution for launch in 2018 that will transform how the UK grocery industry manages product data

London, 19 July 2017… GS1 UK, the global supply chain standards organisation, today issued an industry charter signed by 12 leading grocery retailers and brands, announcing their commitment to move to a single industry solution which will transform the way UK grocery retailers and brands will manage and exchange product data.

The 12 companies - Co-op, Itsu, L’Oréal, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, PepsiCo, P&G, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever and Waitrose – recognise that the UK grocery industry could save over £200m in costs and lost sales through the development of an industry-wide solution that delivers improved data quality.

“The UK retail industry is in many ways a world leader in innovation and execution,” says Gary Lynch, CEO of GS1 UK. “But it has fallen behind other countries in addressing the challenge of poor quality supply chain and product data. This costs the industry millions through inefficiencies and lost sales, and holds back innovation that could improve the customer experience.”

Two technology providers, 1WorldSync and Alkemics, selected by the GS1 UK Retail Grocery Advisory Board, are currently working with multiple retailers and suppliers on an end-to-end pilot programme. This is demonstrating how the service will work, and how retailers and suppliers can populate and pull data to and from the service using multiple channels. A number of SMEs are supporting the pilot, ensuring the inclusive nature of the service.

“This is an important step towards the delivery of a new industry-wide service for managing product data,” says Gianluca Branda, Associate Director, Product Supply P&G Northern Europe, “Currently, brands provide product information in multiple ways to different retailers and this adds both cost and complexity. The companies who have signed the Digital DNA industry charter are committed to working not only together, but also with all our trading partners to launch this new service – for the benefit of everyone in the industry, including of course, our customers.”

“We are delighted to be one of the first signatories to the Digital DNA industry charter,” says Mark Watson, Director of Planning & Supply Chain at Ocado. “As an industry, it is essential we work together so solve the problem of providing quality product data to all our customers. Giving them this information will help them make easier purchasing decisions – whether it’s based on health and wellbeing or lifestyle choices.”

The Digital DNA programme was launched in late 2016 by the GS1 UK Retail Grocery Advisory Board, a group of leading retailers and brands. The Board’s objective is to work together to deliver industry-wide solutions that will provide a better customer experience while delivering efficiencies throughout the supply chain. Together the members of the Board represent 80% of the UK grocery retail market.

The Digital DNA industry charter sets out key principles for the service, most importantly that it is industry-owned and governed, and is built on open, global GS1 standards. A harmonised standards-based data model is currently being developed by over 20 companies.

The Digital DNA service will enter operational use later in 2017, ahead of a full industry launch in 2018.

* The Digital DNA industry charter is available at

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About GS1 UK

For further information or requests for interviews, please contact Tim Haidar: 020 7092 3584 /

GS1 UK is a community of over 31,000 members working in healthcare, retail, foodservice and more. GS1 UK is one of 112 independent, not-for-profit GS1 organisations operating across 150 countries worldwide. GS1 UK helps everyone involved in making, moving and trading goods, automate and standardise their supply chain processes using the common language of GS1 global standards.