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Alcohol Beverage Industry

Resources to help create visibility throughout the supply chain

Trading partners in the alcohol beverage industry have been working collaboratively to improve supply chain management, enhance communication with trading partners, increase visibility of product throughout the supply chain, and reduce costs—all by leveraging GS1 Standards for several years. Every company in the industry is encouraged to obtain a GS1 Company Prefix and identify products with the Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) encoded in barcodes to enable automatic identification data capture.

On this page, you can find information:

Unique identification of product sold at Point of Sale

Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) are used to uniquely identify products in the supply chain. GTINs are the identification numbers used in UPC-A barcodes (commonly referred to as U.P.C.’s). A separate, unique GTIN is required whenever any of the pre-defined characteristics of an item are different in any way that is relevant to the trading process. To avoid unnecessary supply chain costs, it is essential to know when to change a product’s GTIN based on revisions to formulary, packaging, or bonus/promotion. Correct GTIN assignment is also a critical component of data synchronization. To learn more, refer to the GTIN Allocation Rules.

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Guidelines for applying U.P.C. barcodes to alcohol beverage bottles include:

  • Permanent proof changes to an existing item requires a new GTIN
  • Proof variations by state requires a unique GTIN for each proof differential
  • Age variations by state can carry the same GTIN, unless unique identification is needed for special tracking purposes
  • Gift wrap, internal gift-wrapping or carton (if any) carries the same GTIN as the bottle. Gift bottle GTIN is same as the regular bottle GTIN, assuming same price
  • Special packaging without separate container (e.g., a point-of-sale (POS) piece attached to neck wrap), can carry the same GTIN as the regular bottle if there is no pricing differential
  • All vintages of the same varietal wine can have the same GTIN unless there is a plan to market and track different vintages or if they carry different prices

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Data synchronization in the alcohol beverage industry

Data synchronization is defined as the continuous harmonization of data between and among the trading partners in a supply chain. Efficiencies and savings can be achieved when data integrity issues are eliminated and the right product is ordered, purchased, delivered, invoiced, sold, and billed .

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Traceability in the wine supply chain

The wine supply chain has always been complex and fragmented, with more global suppliers and customers and consumers expecting more and more information about products. The unique characteristics of the wines supply chain bring challenges to implementing an effective traceability system. Companies vary greatly in their technical capabilities; from phone, fax and paper based transactions, through robust e-commerce, barcoding, and other internal systems. Their ability to identify implicated product, and perform track and trace activities is directly related to their technical capabilities. The wine supply chain could be broken down into the following key areas: grape grower, wine producer, bulk distributor, transit cellar, filler/packer, finished goods distributor and retailer, and the GS1 Wine Supply Chain Traceability Guideline was developed to address the needs of all of these stakeholders.

The alcohol beverage industry has also been leveraging GTIN/Serial Container Code (SCC) identification on cases to improve collaborative commerce, anti-counterfeiting, and traceability processes.

The following GS1 US programs, educational materials, and events help companies in the alcohol beverage industry learn more and implement GS1 Standards.

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Get Started with GS1 System of Standards

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Education, Training and Customized Services

  • GS1 US University - On-demand educational videos, training modules, webinars and classroom learning, certificate courses and implementation workshops
  • GS1 US Advisory Services - Customized support with a combination of technical and business expertise to address specific challenges you may face in integrating GS1 Standards into your operations
  • Barcode Verification Services - Verify your product barcodes (to ensure that they scan the first time) with GS1 US. Our tests determine if your barcodes comply with GS1 Standards, and check each barcode symbol on a variety of point-of-sale scanners
  • Product Measurement Services - These services are designed to support your data accuracy program. Accurate data is an essential component of a visible, secure, and sustainable value chain; GS1 US offers products and services to help you ensure that your GDSN dimensional data is precise and GS1 Standards-compliant 
  • Data Governance Assessment, Guidance and Training via the GS1 US National Data Quality Program

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Industry Initiatives

Get involved to address business process inefficiencies and help shape the future of the industry

Both the GS1 US Retail Grocery Initiative and the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative provide opportunities for industry stakeholders to participate in industry collaboration to define best practices for the use of standards and electronic data sharing. Join these initiatives to help identify industry challenges and solutions to improve supply chain efficiencies and drive data quality.

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