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productDNA grows retail share to 50 per cent of the UK grocery market with Sainsbury’s sign up

London, 5 November 2019 – Sainsbury’s has become the latest retailer to sign up to productDNA, a new product induction platform designed to provide a single source of high-quality product data for the retail industry.

More than 50 per cent of the retail grocery market has now committed to building the cross-industry platform, which will house more than 170 product attributes, from weight and dimensions to customs, excise and VAT requirements. 

Under the stewardship of industry standards body, GS1 UK, productDNA’s vision is to enable suppliers to enter core product data into a single, cross-industry item catalogue. As the platform develops, suppliers will not have to enter their product data into multiple systems for every retailer they supply. The catalogue will be updated in real time via GS1 UK’s automated data feeds and independently audited and verified by GS1 UK to ensure accuracy. 

Sainsbury’s will contribute extensive product knowledge to the system and will test the concept to inform the next stage of development. Sainsbury’s first productDNA pilot will begin in early 2020, with a small number of branded suppliers in the beer, wine and spirits category. 

Gary Lynch, GS1 UK’s CEO, said: “We are delighted Sainsbury’s has signed up to productDNA. The very positive response to our service from other industry leaders such as Unilever, Waitrose & Partners, Nestlé, Tesco, P&G, Ocado and General Mills, shows that there is a clear need for productDNA to streamline the way product data is shared and managed across the entire retail industry. 

“productDNA is a fantastic example of the retail industry coming together to develop a solution that touches all aspects of the product supply chain. 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 per cent. 

“Retailers will gain real accuracy assurance in the data they receive, given GS1 UK’s independent audit and verification of the physical product. This means they no longer have to spend time conducting multiple checks across their supply base or chasing suppliers for additional information. With productDNA, retailers can focus on getting the products onto 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.” 

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.” 

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About GS1 UK

GS1 UK is just one of 114 neutral and independent GS1 organisations operating worldwide. From product barcodes to patient wristbands, GS1 standards have been transforming the way we work and live for more than 40 years.

Whether online, in store or in a hospital, the common language of GS1 global standards is helping our community of more than 39,000 organisations across Britain to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone. / @GS1UK

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

About productDNA

productDNA is a single catalogue of high-quality, independently verified data that enables retailers and brands to use one shared language to describe and manage product data.

To find out more about productDNA, visit us at, or contact our team directly via

About Sainsbury’s 

Sainsbury’s commitment to helping customers live well for less has been at the heart of what we do since 1869. Today that means making our customers’ lives better and easier every day by offering great quality and service at fair prices across food, clothing, general merchandise and financial services, whenever and wherever they want to shop. 

As our customers’ lives change, so will our business. Sainsbury's acquired Argos and Habitat on 2 September 2016, creating one of the UK’s leading retailers. We have a growing online and digital business with fast, convenient delivery capability and a store network of 600 Sainsbury’s supermarkets, over 800 convenience stores and almost 900 Argos stores in both stand-alone and supermarket locations. The iconic Habitat furniture and home furnishings brand is available online and from 16 locations across the UK.  

We acquired the Nectar loyalty programme in February 2018, enabling us to know and reward our customers better. 

Our vision is to be the most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop. We employ 178,000 colleagues who, together with our strong culture and values, are integral to achieving this vision and driving our success – now and in the future.