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Gregg London Feature Article for Retail Technology Innovation Hub: “It’s too damn hard" is not an acceptable excuse: Content...or tags...or actual item data?"
For Full Article: CLICK HERE
30 Years Experience
The demand for accurate Product Information has skyrocketed. The evolution of new Technologies, increasing Governmental Regulation on Foods and Beverages, and the growing sophistication of Consumers have placed an untenable burden on Manufacturers and Retailers.
One way to meet the need for this Data Explosion: User Supported (Users do the Data Entry) and/or Web Harvesting (Web Scraping) Web Sites. - Question - what about accuracy?
Another way: Product Look-Up Web Services (API's, SaaS, etc.) - Question - how effective is obtaining one record at a time?
And yet another way: Sponsored Data Libraries - Manufacturer's send Products to these Firms, and pay to have their Products included in the Database. - Question - what if a Manufacturer doesn't participate?
Yes, Company information is available from GS1, but Product Information (the SKU, corresponding U.P.C., and Product Attributes) is not.
Inaccurate and Incomplete Data not only dilutes or damages a Brand Name, but also results in Missing Records, and, if used in a "Mission Critical" Application (say, Health and Wellness Application), can endanger the User.Email
The Solution - The Digital Product Information Catalog
(aka The Database)
The largest, Fully Attributed, Product Database (for Food and Beverage), indexed by U.P.C and EAN, created from Data and Package Labels supplied by the Manufacturer, fully Categorized, and continuously Maintained.
Put simply, this Database is THE "single version of the truth" for Manufacturers, Distributors, Retailers, Business Analytics Firms, and Developers.
Top Level Categories in The Database include:
Packaged Foods (National Brands and Private Label / Store Brand Items), Perishable Foods (Produce and Deli Meat), Food Supplements, Beverages (Alcoholic [Beer, Wine, Liquor, Mixers] and Non-Alcoholic), and Tobacco (Cigars, Cigarettes, Snuff, etc.).
Data Fields and Field Sets include:
U.P.C., EAN, PLU, MT (Meat Track) Code, GS1 Manufacturer Name, Brand / Brand Line, Item Name, Description, POS (Point of Sale) Name, Container, Imperial and Metric Size and Unit of Measure, the complete FDA Nutrition Fact Panel (compliant with the 2018 Revisions), Ingredients, the complete FALCPA (Allergen) Statement, and Temperature Warnings.
And these Fields set The Database apart:
Categorization (NACS or Grocer Cat), Endorsements (OU Kosher, USDA Organic, etc.), Country of Origin, Health Claims (Gluten Free, Non-GMO, etc.), FDA Nutrition Fact Panel Values for Food Prepared, Allergen Notation for Primary / Cross Contamination / World Standard Items, and the FDA SR28 Interface (linking the U.P.C. to the SR28 Index Number).
For a Sample of The Database, in Excel - click HERE.
A sampling of ideas (and Clients / Client Uses) for The Database:
Create Simple and Complex Queries to identify: Items that are: Gluten Free (iPhone App - Now Find Gluten Free), Kosher (Dallas Kosher), Low in Phosphorous (University of North Carolina), Non-GMO, etc.
For Governmental Regulations, Queries can be used to identify: Store Items qualifying for: WIC (USDA), SNAP (Mapco Express), etc. and Material qualifying for Recycling, (Recyclebank), etc.
Create Reports for: FDA Menu Labeling Requirements (UCSD), Manufacturer / Brand Name Cross Reference (Amazon), Product Data Sheets (New Nordic), etc.
Use Item Description and Endorsement Data for: Pantry Management (UAHC - selected Food Banks), Grocery Delivery Services (Instacart), Grocery Shopping List Creation (Grocery IQ), etc.
Use Nutrition and Ingredient Data for: Health and Wellness (H2 Wellness), Dietary Management (Weightplan), Food Rating System Support (Lifetime Fitness), etc.
Use Nutrition, Ingredient, and FALCPA Data for: Isolation of Food Allergens (My Food Facts), Food Related Diseases (Nutrisystem), Chronic Food Conditions (App Innovations), etc.
Append Item Description data for: Database Cleansing (Pivot Tools, Data Consultants), Product Catalog Completion (Fetch Rewards, White Rose), etc.
Append Item Description, Endorsements, Country of Origin, Health Claims, etc. for: Enhanced Shelf Tag Labels (Vestcom), Promotional Marketing (Grocery Shopping Network), etc.
And for Complex Uses:
Append The Database to: Store Sales Data, providing Business Analytics Insight beyond X Number of Units for Y Number of Dollars in Z Number of Days (Pepsi is able to identify competitor items that are higher in Sodium, lower in Fat, contain MSG or Potassium Sorbate, etc.)
Use Nutrition and Restaurant Data to: Create dynamic Nutritional Computations for Recipes (per the FDA Menu Label Guideline, Green Tree Market [Opening Winter 2022] is able to calculate Recipe Nutrition Values for Food Service Offerings, and instantly display changes for different Ingredients)
Use Combinations of Criteria in The Database to: Create complex Queries to isolate Foods meeting Endorsement and Rating Systems (The American Heart Association is able to identify Items - that qualify for the Heart Healthy Checkmark - based on Criteria for Fat, Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbohydrates, Sugar, etc.)
Who else uses The Database:
Top Level Data Verification Steps:
Verify and/or Normalize the U.P.C. to GS1 Standards - U.P.C.-E (Eight Digits), EAN-8 (Eight Digits), U.P.C.-A (Twelve Digits) and EAN-13 (Thirteen Digits)
Verify and/or Validate the U.P.C. / EAN Prefix with the GS1 Manufacturer of record
Verify the Brand, Brand Line, and Product - where possible - through the Family Code and/or other Items in the Database from the same Manufacturer
For the FDA Nutrition Fact Panel, Validate the Percent Daily Value based on FDA Established Formulas
Also for the FDA Nutrition Fact Panel, Validate the Sum Total Fields (Fiber, Sugar, and Other Carbs cannot exceed Total Carbs, etc.)
For Ingredient Data, Validate Sub Ingredient Items (Enriched Wheat Flour should have..., etc.), Punctuation (Commas, Brackets, Parenthesis, etc.), and Ingredient Order Formatting
Validate, Correct, and Normalize both Spelling and Related Description Verbiage
For Errors on the Item Package (any of the above Steps above), Notation is provided
Additional Quality Control Checks that insure The Database is as accurate as possible.
The complete Database, selected Sub Sets (Packaged Food, Perishable Food, Beer, Wine, Liquor, etc.), or - upon submission of a U.P.C. List - a "matched" Sub Set, can be delivered in in ASCII Text, Excel, or Access formats.
Monthly and Quarterly Updates are available.
For those who require Professional Consulting in the areas of: U.P.C. Consulting or Data Cleansing, CLICK HERE.Call Now
“Gregg was a go to resource for UPC and product data throughout my time building platforms that served shoppers. Whenever I was trying to connect different data dots to allow us to turn food inspiration into actionable shopping Gregg was one of my first and most trusted contacts.”Andy Robinson
eBusiness Manager at Wallwork
“Gregg is the leading expert when it comes to sales retail data. He is a pleasure to deal with and delivers on what he promises.
If you need to cleanse your data or looking to understand retail data Gregg is the man to go to. I recommend him highly!”
Managing Partner at OIH Medical Solutions, LLC
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General Manager, USA and Canada at New Nordic
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