GS1 Canada Spearheads Global Product Image Standards GS1 Canada Spearheads Global Product Image Standards
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GS1 Canada Spearheads Global Product Image Standards

Project Synopsis:

GS1 Canada has taken a leadership role in the establishment of standards for digital product image and dimension specifications.  Its quest to ensure data accuracy for this increasingly important service to industry has resulted in a world-class service currently adopted by the grocery and foodservice industry, and a databank of more than 86,000 unduplicated images and dimensional data.

Canada recognized early on the trade benefits to manufacturers and retailers of capturing and storing accurate product image and dimension data for use in planogramming, marketing and logos.  In collaboration with Canadian grocery and food service associations, GS1 Canada established a central databank, ECCnet Image and Validation (ECCnet I&V), to maintain the images, dimensional data, and space management product attributes, for all grocery products and packaged goods in the Canadian supply chain. The service has been extended to all industry sectors.

Manufacturers provide the product once and can be confident that the resultant images and dimensions are captured, measured and validated to the original product. Standardization of the image and dimension specifications means that it can be shared with multiple trading partners and in multiple space management applications. ECCnet I&V also normalizes the data, a service unique among GS1 providers.

The initial development of the Canadian grocery industry’s image and dimension requirements laid the foundation for product image and measurement specifications, the outcome of which is global usage through the identification of accurate data in a synchronized world. Inspired by its local success, in 2004 Canada, along with a group of American-based companies, approached the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions Association (VICS) to establish guidelines on the consistent use of digital imagery within the North American supply chain. Wishing to extend the benefits of standardization to a global level, the resultant VICS guidelines then formed the basis for a change request submitted to GS1-GSMP. In addition to GS1 Canada, France, UK and Australia, a GSMP work group includes retailers and manufacturers  representing consumer packaged goods – McCormick & Company Inc.; pharmacy-Lawtons Drug Stores; hardlines-Home Depot Inc.; and third-party solution providers- 3M Co.

Companies and organizations involved:

20 Canadian Retailers and 1500 Manufacturers using ECCnet I&V services, including Procter & Gamble, Smuckers Foods of Canada Company and Kraft Canada Inc.
Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors representing the Canadian food distribution industry
Food & Consumer Products of Canada representing the Canadian food and consumer products industry


In Canada, the accuracy of shared product images and data among trading partners has created value and reduced costs for all organizations involved. To date, more than 20 Canadian retailers and 1,500 manufacturers have collaborated in and participated in ECCnet I&V.  The service has critical mass in the grocery sector, making it unmatched in any other GS1 MO. While maintaining GS1 standards, producing high quality images and adding real-time access to its database, ECCnet I&V has also been able to reduce image capture fees by 154 percent since inception, making the service affordable and accessible. The databank of more than 86,000 unduplicated images and dimensional data is available to all industry sectors, and levels the playing field for vendors of all sizes to do business with their retail trading partners, regardless of their location in Canada.

In 2004, GS1 Canada played a leading role in helping to define standards for the capture of dimensional data. Now, Canada has contributed its experience to the definition of global standards for product image specifications. The evolution of the initiative has seen the successful collaboration of GS1 MOs with global retailers, manufacturers, service providers and industry associations.  It is anticipated that trading partners globally will experience the same benefits as has been the experience in Canada.

  Product Image Specification [153kb PDF]
  GDSN Package Measurement Rules that correspond to the Product Image Specification [1MB PDF]