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GS1 US Data Hub Help Center

Create a Product and Generate a UPC-A Barcode

To generate a barcode image for a product sold to consumers, you first need to create a product, assign an available Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®), and then click the Set Status to In Use button. 

Note: Did you license single GS1 US GTIN, instead of a GS1 Company Prefix? Then your product is already set to the In Use status. Visit the GS1 US GTIN article to learn how to generate your barcode, create a case, etc.

First, click Product, then Add New Product on the right. Then follow these steps:

Add New Product

a. Product Description
This is a "functional description" to share with retailers, NOT the marketing description that is used for consumers. A best practice is to include brand name, type of product, variation (color, flavor, scent, etc), and net contents. There is a 200-character limit on this field.

Product Description

b. Language
This is the language for the Product Description and Brand Name. The default is "en" - English." If this product’s primary target market uses a local language other than English, you can change it here. Have an additional language to add? In Step 3 - Enhance Your GTIN Data, you can add an additional product description and brand name and indicate an additional language.

c. Brand Name
Enter the name of the product line that is used with consumers. There is a 70-character limit.

d. Industry
Select the primary industry where​ the product is sold. Here are definitions of two of the options:

- CPG = Consumer Packaged Goods (groceries, personal care products, etc.);
- General = General Merchandise (toys, flooring, appliances, etc.)

e. Packaging Level
Leave "Each" selected, as this is the Packaging Level used for items sold to consumers.

SKU (optional)
This is the Stock Keeping Unit that your company may assign to products to help track inventory. The SKU can be alphanumeric. There is a 70-character limit. You can add or change the SKU for this product, even after you set the status to In Use.

Purchasable by Consumer?
Leave "Yes" selected. This ensures that a UPC-A will be generated in a later step. 


For Shipping Purposes?
Leave "No" selected.


Variable Measure?
Leave this box unchecked. Trade items may be of variable measure either because the production process does not guarantee consistency in weight, size, or length (e.g., meat, whole cheeses) or because the items are created to meet a special order that states a quantity (e.g., textiles ordered by the foot, glass ordered by the square yard). View the variable measure article to learn more.

Not variable measure trade items

f. Click the Save and Continue button.
This product detail record is in the Draft status. The Step 2 page displays.

a. Click the Let Us Assign Your GTIN button. GS1 US Data Hub will assign the next available GTIN to this product, based on your GS1 Company Prefix. This available GTIN displays under the Your GTIN heading as both a GTIN-12 and a GTIN with 14 digits, with two leading zeroes (this is how GTINs are typically stored in databases).

Choose a Specific GTIN
If you have already assigned a GTIN to this product, perhaps in another database, enter the desired GTIN yourself and assign it to a specific product; if you are creating the GTIN, learn about the Check Digit Calculator.

Assign GTIN from Reserved
You can specify a GTIN from GTINs you have reserved for this product or group of products.

b. After you assign the GTIN, the item moves from Draft to PreMarket status.

View an "FPO" Barcode

When the GTIN is in the PreMarket status, click the View Barcode button to generate a “For Placement Only” (FPO) barcode. This watermark barcode is for product and packaging design purposes only. To print the "final" barcode, you will need to click Set Status to In Use (see next step).

Add Additional Product Information.
Consider adding other product information in Step 3 and Step 4, such as net contents and net weight. Keep in mind that some of these attributes cannot be changed after you set the status to In Use.

While in the PreMarket status, you can change key attributes before finalizing. When you're ready to share this product with the marketplace, click the Set Status to In Use button.

set status image

After the product is set to the In Use status:

- The GTIN is permanently assigned to the product;
- You cannot delete this GTIN. Rather, you must Archive this GTIN if this product is discontinued in the future. Learn more about deleting a GTIN.

If key attributes need to be changed, such as unit of measure or net contents, you will have to create a new product and assign a new GTIN. So here are three questions to consider before taking this step:

- Are the product attributes and packaging final?

- Are you ready to produce and sell this product to consumers?

- Are you ready to share this information with trading partners?

a. Click the View barcode button to view the UPC-A barcode image.

view barcode image

The Barcode screen displays:

Application Area:
This is the environment in which the barcode will be scanned. The list of available application areas is based on the details for this product detail record.

Barcode Type:
The selected barcode symbol. UPC-A is the default if "Each" is the Packaging Level, "Yes" is selected for "Purchasable by Consumer," and Application Area is "General Retail/Grocery."

You have three choices for the barcode dimensions: the optimum ("Target") size, minimum size that can accommodate all scanners, and maximum size. View the Work with my UPC-A barcode article to view the actual file size dimensions.

b. Click Preview Barcode.
Then click the Download button to download a PNG file of the barcode image to your computer. An EPS or vector file format is not available.

To print this barcode using an Avery label template, click the Print button.

To share the barcode symbol specifications with a GS1 Standards Professional print vendor, click the Export Barcode Definition button. This downloads a spreadsheet with the definitions.

  • You can clone a product that has the same attributes as a product you've already entered. Click the GTIN to view the product detail record, and click Clone This Product button. 

  • The Confirm Cloning of Product dialog box displays. Click Continue. A new Draft product detail record is created with these attributes:

  • - Product Description: 
    Contains the word “Copy” at the end; be sure to change the Product Description to match the new product you are creating. 
    - Brand Name
    - Product Industry 
    - Packaging Level 
    - Dimensions: 
    Remember to change these dimensions, if needed.
    - Weight: Remember to change the weight, if needed.
    - SKU: Remember to change the SKU, which is your company's internal stock keeping unit for this product, if needed.