News | October 5, 2009

GS1 US Announces Launch Of Groundbreaking Foodservice Initiative With Leading Foodservice Manufacturers, Distributors, And Operators

GS1 US™ announced today that 55 foodservice manufacturers, distributors and operators have launched the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative, and have funded the GS1 US Team for Foodservice to guide execution. The Initiative recommends the adoption of a common timeline for voluntary individual company implementation of GS1 Global standards for company identification, item identification and product description; 45 of the Initiative's founding member companies have already voluntarily committed to this common timeline. Founding member companies include:

  1. Avendra, LLC
  2. Ben E. Keith Foods
  3. BiRite Foodservice Distributors
  4. Bojangles' Restaurants, Inc.
  5. Campbell North America Foodservice
  6. Cargill
  7. Centralized Supply Chain Services, LLC.
  8. Coca-Cola FoodService and On-Premise
  9. Compass Group/Foodbuy
  10. ConAgra Foods
  11. Darden Restaurants, Inc.
  12. Dot Foods, Inc.
  13. Ecolab Inc.
  14. Ellenbee Leggett Company, Inc.
  15. Food Services of America
  16. General Mills, Inc.
  17. Genpak
  18. Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP
  19. Gordon Food Service
  20. Hawkeye Foodservice Distribution, Inc.
  21. Heinz North America Foodservice
  22. Hormel Foods
  23. Independent Marketing Alliance
  24. Indianhead Foodservice Distributor, Inc.
  25. J.R. Simplot Company
  26. Kellogg Company Specialty Channels
  27. Kraft Foodservice
  28. Land O'Lakes, Inc.
  29. Maines Paper & Food Service, Inc.
  30. MARS Foodservices US
  31. Martin Brothers Distributing Co., Inc.
  32. McCain Foods USA, Inc.
  33. McLane Foodservice, Inc.
  34. Nestlé Professional
  35. Nicholas & Company, Inc.
  36. Novation, LLC
  37. Pate Dawson Company
  38. PepsiCo Foodservice
  39. Performance Food Group Company, LLC
  40. Pilgrim's Pride Corporation
  41. Reinhart FoodService, LLC
  42. Rema Foods
  43. Restaurant Services Inc.
  44. Rich Products Corporation
  45. Sara Lee Foodservice
  46. Shamrock Foods Company
  47. Solo Cup Company
  48. Sodexo, Inc.
  49. Sysco Corporation
  50. Tyson Foods, Inc. Food Service
  51. Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op, LLC
  52. Unilever Foodsolutions North America
  53. UniPro Foodservice, Inc.
  54. U.S. Foodservice
  55. Ventura Foods, LLC

The Initiative is striving for 75 percent adoption of GS1 standards throughout the foodservice industry, measured in terms of revenue, by 2015, and is endorsed by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), the National Restaurant Association, and GS1 Canada Foodservice. Industry organizations and founding members of the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative cite three main objectives and industry-wide benefits as a result of companies choosing to adopt and implement GS1 standards:

  • Drive waste out of the foodservice supply chain;
  • Improve product information for customers, and
  • Establish a foundation for improving food safety and traceability.

Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, said "The Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative will have tremendous benefits for restaurants, their guests and their supply chain, and is an important step forward in our continuing efforts to ensure the highest standards for our industry."

The Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative was formed as a result of a strategic planning process facilitated by Future Perfect Consulting Services. During the 6-month process, presidents of foodservice manufacturers, distributors and operators and their supply chain leaders worked with GS1 US, GS1 Canada and Future Perfect to draft a timeline that individual companies could choose to employ in their voluntary adoption and implementation of GS1 standards.

"Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op, LLC, in managing the supply chain exclusively for Yum! Brands, Inc., fully supports the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative and Roadmap," said Daniel E. Woodside, president and CEO of Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op, LLC. "We began our project in 2005 utilizing standardized bar codes on our product cases anticipating benefits for all our business partners. As we now begin to realize some of those benefits, we are excited to share our learnings with the industry and commit our full support." Brenda Lloyd, director, Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op, LLC added "it is critical we stay on the forefront of addressing data quality and food safety issues as an industry. We know our business best. Now is the time, together we can build a strong foundation that works for everyone."

Founding member manufacturers and distributors agree: "IFMA is fully supportive of voluntary adoption of GS1 standards," said Tom Sampson, president, Kraft North America Foodservice and 2009 IFMA Chairman of the Board. "Based on Kraft's experience implementing these standards in Canada, we know data synchronization not only drives out waste and inefficiencies, it also frees up time for manufacturers to collaborate with customers to drive growth. Voluntary adoption of these standards will also create a common foundation for improved product traceability and communication of nutritional information throughout the supply chain," said Mr. Sampson.

"We know our customers need more accurate information," said Larry G. Pulliam, executive vice president, Foodservice Operations, Sysco Corporation. "In addition, our suppliers need it, our associates need it and the industry needs it as well. Through the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative, involving leadership from all parts of the supply chain, we commit to adopting GS1 standards to improve food safety and traceability, take cost and complexity out of the supply chain and improve the experience for our customers." John Martin, CEO of Martin Brothers Distributing Co. and IFDA Chairman of the Board concurred: "We chose GS1 standards because they're in use by more than two million companies worldwide – it takes the guesswork out, so that we can focus on serving customers to the best of our ability. The planning process we engaged in with Future Perfect helped us gain the voluntary commitment of individual companies that we needed to independently adopt GS1 standards along a common timeline."

Near-term steps in the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative timeline include:

  • By Q4 2009: Companies assign GS1 Global Location Numbers to their headquarters.
  • By Q3 2010: Manufacturers assign GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers to products and include them on order guides and other trading partner documentation.
  • By Q2 2011: Manufacturers and brand owners will publish product and company identification and related logistics information to trading partners. Distributors retrieve product information; populate back end systems and customer product catalogs.

Trading partners choosing to adopt and implement GS1 standards will access standard product information through the GS1 Global Data Synchronization Network® (GDSN®), an open platform that ensures continuous real-time exchange of consistent, accurate product information among supply chain partners. Many technology providers are certified to help companies with implementation; certification is required to ensure adherence to GS1 global standards. Committed providers include widely known players in foodservice, including AFS, which announced that it will become certified for GS1 data publishing and retrieval; Aligntrac, which already is certified for GS1 data publishing and retrieval; FSE, which already is certified for data publishing and retrieval and is getting certified to become a GS1 GDSN data pool; 1SYNC, the world's largest GDSN data pool, which also is certified for GS1 data publishing and retrieval; and iTradeNetwork, which will become certified to publish, retrieve and become a GS1 GDSN data pool. GDSN data pools are interoperable – i.e., publishing to one or retrieving data from one means that companies can retrieve data from all GDSN-certified data pools without additional fees.

"We're proud to be a founding member of the Initiative. We believe this is critical for our customers, our suppliers and our company, leading to greater efficiency and ever improving food safety standards and practices," said Bob Aiken, President and CEO, U.S. Foodservice.

"The scores of foodservice companies voluntarily adopting GS1 standards along a common timeline is a powerful testament to their commitment," said Bob Carpenter, CEO of GS1 US. "We pledge to support foodservice with world class implementation guidance, as we've done for 25 other industries, including the retail food industry."

The Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative welcomes the involvement of all foodservice manufacturers, distributors, operators, industry associations and technology providers. Please visit for more information.

About GS1 US
GS1 US is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the adoption and implementation of standards-based, global supply-chain solutions. More than 200,000 businesses in 25 industries in the U.S. and two-million companies worldwide rely on GS1 US for trading-partner collaboration and for maximizing the cost effectiveness, speed, visibility, and traceability of their goods moving around the world. They achieve these benefits through GS1 US solutions based on GS1 global unique-numbering and identification systems, bar codes, Electronic Product Code-based RFID, data synchronization, and electronic information exchange. GS1 US operates the subsidiaries and brands 1SYNC™; BarCodes and eCom™; EPCglobal US™; GS1 Healthcare US; and RosettaNet. It also manages the United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC®) for the UNDP;

About Future Perfect
Future Perfect Consulting conducts strategic planning initiatives that help organizations achieve excellence by challenging the status quo, promoting idea generation, gaining voluntary alignment among stakeholders, and translating ideas into realistic action plans;