The most recent major Sunrise date in the US for GS1 DataBar™ was January 1. GS1 US had recommended, “that retailers in the business of selling loose produce and processing manufacturer coupons begin preparing point-of-sale hardware and software systems to scan and process GS1 DataBar symbols and numbers by January 1, 2010.” Ubiquitous use of these smaller, data-rich bar codes by January 1, 2010 was not quite a reality, yet their use is becoming more pervasive, and the benefi ts of their eventual full implementation should neither be dismissed nor ignored.
The GS1 DataBar symbols (formerly known as Reduced Space Symbology-RSS) hold more information in a much smaller footprint than traditional EAN/UPC bar code. And though it is not intended to replace EAN/UPC bar codes on all categories of products, there are significant benefits that are already being implemented for loose produce and coupons.
The smaller size of these bar codes allows loose produce to be tagged. The benefits of this use, according to the Produce Marketing Association, “include: 1. Increased accuracy of product identification of loose items (such as organically grown versus conventionally grown) by scanning instead of key-entering PLU codes; 2. Better product management through the supply chain, including point-of-sale; 3. Better traceability; 4. Better category management; 5. Better shrink control 6. Improved consumer shopping experience with more effi cient bar codes.”