PMA Database Supports DataBar

NEWARK, Del. — In addition to appearing on coupons, the GS1 DataBar, in a somewhat smaller form, is printed on price look-up (PLU) labels along with the PLU number on a growing number of loose produce items.

Some retailers, including Kroger Co. [2], have begun scanning produce DataBars, but in order to do that manufacturers must provide a GTIN (global trade item number) that can be associated in a retailer’s database with each produce item’s DataBar.

The Produce Marketing Association here has worked on facilitating the communication of GTINs by establishing a “DataBar online” database of GTINs that manufacturers can populate and retailers can access. As of last month, 85 produce suppliers had uploaded their GTINs to the database, with more than 100 additional suppliers registered to use the database, said Christina D’Allacco, manager, science and technology, supply chain efficiencies for the PMA.

The number of produce suppliers using the database “can reflect a measure of supplier support” for the DataBar, she said. “You will see a move toward more suppliers incorporating DataBar into their systems as retailers request them to be utilized.”

The PMA has also compiled an online list of retailers who will accept produce with the DataBar sticker. A new survey on retailer use of the produce DataBar is slated for 2012.

Retailers and suppliers have indicated that that scanning the DataBar on loose produce yields a number of benefits, she said, including improved category management, increased checkout accuracy, a reduction in shrink, improved consumer shopping experience at the self-checkout, and some measure of traceability.