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Tesco and Sainsbury’s call for greater standardisation and higher quality data

Date: July 09, 2020

Category: Industry news

Major supermarkets have called for a step change in the data they receive from suppliers to help customers shop more easily. 

Last week, both Tesco and Sainsbury’s told The Grocer that they want to work with suppliers to adopt new procedures for packaging data. This will help shoppers using their .com services receive more standardised and higher quality product information in areas such as allergy advice, nutritional content and diets such as veganism, among a host of key consumer concerns.

They said greater co-operation between suppliers and retailers would not only benefit consumers but also help support the already stretched supply chains.

Why is there a need for standardised data?

As consumer shopping habits change, the amount of information they want on the products they consume is increasing. This goes well beyond simple ingredients in a product. 

Clear and consistent information around ingredients, nutritional and allergen information, help consumers make safe and informed choices about the products they buy, while packaging information helps consumers to live more sustainably. On the other side of the coin, accurate volumetric data helps retailers to optimise supply chains and store operations.

This is why a standardised approach is vital. 

However, at the moment, suppliers are asked for different cuts of data, in different formats and then asked to send multiple samples of the same product to different retailers. This makes the industry very inefficient and inaccurate with manufacturers having to compile multiple data sets in different formats and through different systems for each retailer they work with.  

This core product data offers no competitor advantage and so as an industry, aligning around common data standards with GS1 makes so much sense. By standardising, we remove the specific requirements of retailers and therefore enable manufacturers to concentrate on providing consistent and accurate product data once - ideally through productDNA, which can be used by all retailers. This will save time, improve efficiency and result in more accurate data for customers.” 


Andrew Hughes, director of commercial transformation at Tesco

The UK is one of the last mature markets to deliver a standardised data set for products. Many countries have been on this journey for a long time. 

There is an opportunity with productDNA, and the data dictionary that supports it, for the UK to step out in front and start leading the way. With a greater standardisation of rich, high-quality product data, both retailers and suppliers can operate effectively and efficiently to meet consumer expectations. 

Read full article on The Grocer