News Room

GMA Supports Deferring GS1 DataBar Implementation for Coupons, Calls for Industry Comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today issued the following statement with regard to industry readiness for the implementation of the GS1 DataBar on coupons:

The GS1 DataBar readiness survey was disseminated mid-March 2009 to the industry to solicit feedback pertaining to retailer/manufacturer readiness for the January 1, 2010 implementation of the GS1 DataBar on coupons.

The response data from this survey suggests that removal of the UPC-A barcode beginning January 1, 2010 will create a significant hardship for many retailers who may not be equipped to scan the new GS1 DataBar by this date. For this reason, the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) recommends that the UPC-A barcode not be removed from coupons beginning January 1, 2010. The JICC recommends a deferred implementation date of January 1, 2011 to help ensure that the industry has enough time to prepare for proper implementation of the GS1 DataBar.

The JICC recommendation to defer implementation should not dissuade ready retailers that are eager to capitalize on the additional capabilities of the DataBar from beginning to scan the new symbol on or before January 1, 2010.

The JICC is currently soliciting comment from industry stakeholders on the deferred GS1 DataBar implementation date. The review period runs through July 17, 2009. Stakeholders are encouraged to contact Logan Kastner at or 202-637-8065 to share additional feedback.

The Joint Industry Coupon Committee works to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the development, distribution and redemption of coupons. It is comprised of individuals from retailers and manufacturers who oversee coupon programs and includes representatives from GMA, Food Marketing Institute, National Grocers Association and National Association of Chain Drug Stores.