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Frequently asked questions

productDNA is a new service for the UK grocery industry, developed by the industry for the industry.

  • It provides a single industry catalogue of product data and images
  • All product data is independently audited and verified to ensure accuracy and quality
  • Brands share this product data and images with retailers in a consistent format

productDNA has already been adopted by four of the leading UK grocers: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose & Partners and Ocado. Together these companies make up over half of the retail grocery market. 

A range of brands, both small and large, have also adopted productDNA and are already seeing the benefits of using the service. This includes the likes of Nestlé, Unilever, General Mills, P&G, Candy Kittens, Mallow & Marsh, Oppo Brothers, itsu [grocery], Sandows and many more.

productDNA was built for the retail industry. It was developed by a specific group of leading grocery retailers and brands who shared the common need for high quality data and a standardised way of listing their products.

At launch the service covered the specific needs of the grocery sector.This covers all product categories within a supermarket with the exception of general merchandise and clothing.

GS1 UK will continue to work with other sectors across retail to understand their specific needs and to agree the required product attributes to describe their products. 

  • productDNA provides a single way for brands to share your product data and images with retailers
  • As a brand you will fully own your product data and images, rather than being commercially constrained by third-party content providers
  • By eliminating the need to provide data in different formats to each retailer, your as a brand can focus on what really matters to you: product development, sale growth and innovation
  • productDNA allows you to directly control the data and images you share with your customers (retailers)
  • productDNA offers retailers an easy way to access high quality, independently verified product data they can trust
  • Retailers can provide a better experience for shoppers by providing accurate and consistent product information and images through every channel, in-store and online
  • By removing unnecessary workarounds and other inefficiencies from checking suppliers’ products and associated data, retailers can focus on what really matters to them: providing a better customer experience through innovation
  • Shoppers will see complete and comprehensive information and content about all products, across all channels
  • Shoppers will make informed decisions based on their preferences, including health and wellbeing, lifestyle and sustainability

All retailers and brands can get in touch with team to find out how productDNA can work for your business.

Alternatively you can subscribe directly to the service today


productDNA enables multiple images to be stored against each product. These can be uploaded by brands and accessed by authorised retailers.

My Numberbank is a service provided free of charge to all GS1 UK members. It allows members to allocate unique product identifiers called GTINS (Global Trade Item Numbers) to all their products. Seven product attributes are required for each GTIN (product name, main brand, sub-brand, description, web link to the product, MPN (Manufacturer’s Part Number) and SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)).

My Numberbank is increasingly used by online retailers, online marketplaces and healthcare catalogue providers to check the validity of the GTIN used in their product catalogues.

productDNA defines and manages far more product data. At launch there were 150 data attributes for products across the grocery sector, including product data such as dimensions, weight and volume, as well as ingredients, nutritional values and allergen information. Additionally, productDNA also allows brands and retailers to share this product data between them in a controlled manner, respecting commercial agreements.

TrueSource is a GDSN-certified data pool service from GS1 UK. It has been used for many years, mainly in the foodservice industry and for brands to some international retailers. Subscribers to TrueSource will be able to publish their GDSN data to productDNA where it can be amended in line with the UK grocery sector data model used by productDNA.

productDNA is owned and governed by the retail industry through the GS1 UK Retail Grocery Advisory Board, which is made up of 17 leading UK retailers and brands. The board has requested that GS1 UK manages productDNA on their behalf for the benefit of the retail industry.

GS1 UK is a community of over 39,000 members and is one of 114 independent, not-for-profit GS1 organisations operating across 150 countries worldwide. GS1 UK helps industries such as retail and healthcare transform the way they work and serve their customers through the provision of open, global standards.