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GS1 Standards for Foodservice

GS1 Standards form the foundation for clearer communication between companies in an increasingly complex foodservice supply chain. Imagine that you speak English and need to translate something written in German to a French audience. Without a common language, you will need to invest a lot of time and resources to correctly interpret what’s being said. In the foodservice supply chain, GS1 Standards provide a common language—or one source of truth—to help trading partners share and understand the same information about products and locations. 

The Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative has identified three key GS1 Standards to achieve the objectives of enhancing supply chain efficiencies, improving product information and establishing a foundation for food safety and traceability:

  • Global Location Number (GLN) provides information about the location of a company’s headquarters, as well as locations within a company, such as billing departments, ship-to addresses, and restaurant locations.
  • Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) allows suppliers to create unique and standardized identifiers for products/cases.
  • Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN) is a network of standardized, GS1-certified data pools where all participants in the supply chain can share and synchronize product data—such as identifiers, weights, dimensions, nutritionals, ingredients, and marketing information.

Key Benefits of Adopting and Implementing GS1 Standards

As a foodservice distributor, manufacturer, or operator, you can reduce inefficiencies in your supply chain by using GLNs and GTINs for product identification and by exchanging product information through the GDSN. Electronically scanning barcodes with GS1 numbers for inbound and outbound transactions can help you improve the way you manage and track inventories and reduce billing, ordering and/or shipment errors. Adopting and implementing GS1 Standards can also help improve your company’s order-to-cash ratio, cash flow, transportation logistics, and/or overall efficiency. And it empowers all trading partners to trace products to specific manufacturer batches/lots and track production dates—facilitating faster recalls in the event of a foodborne illness outbreak.

How Can You Get Started with the GS1 Standards?

All GS1 Identification Standards are built on the same foundation: the GS1 Company Prefix Number. The GS1 Company Prefix Number is unique to each company—ensuring brand authenticity and unique identification. GS1 US is the only provider of GS1 Company Prefixes in the United States. Click here to join the GS1 US Partner Connections program and license a Company Prefix Number.

If you are looking to connect to the GDSN, a company must subscribe to a certified data pool. The most active data pools in the foodservice industry are listed below:

A complete list of GDSN-certified Data Pools around the world is available on the GS1 GDSN website.