It is important for a business selling products to a supermarket chain or wholesaler to uniquely identify their products with a GS1 barcode that has a unique number called a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
While the barcode does not contain price information, it represents a ‘unique look up number’ in the supermarket’s computer system that will have price information stored against it.
When the products have these barcode numbers (GTINs), the supermarkets for instance will scan them into their computer systems to keep track of sales, orders and price information.
Highlights of GS1 barcodes with GTINs:
- Each product that is exactly the same in every way (size, shape, colour or weight) will have the same barcode number (GTIN)
- If a product is slightly different, it must have a different barcode number so it can be distinguished from other similar products
- Price, description and any other details about the product are not stored in the barcode but in the supermarket or wholesaler’s IT system
Once a business is licensed to use a number by GS1 Australia, no other organisation or business is authorised to use these numbers on their products.