How to cater for bulk, variable or non-barcoded product in NPC

Variable Measure Products

A Variable Measure Trade Item is an entity with pre-defined characteristics such as the nature of the product or its contents. Unlike a Fixed Measure Trade Item, a Variable Measure Trade Item has one measure that varies continuously while other characteristics remain the same. Examples of these measures that vary are weight, length, number of items contained or volume.

First, make sure the variable measure GTIN is valid:

  • GTIN 14 must begin with a 9
  • GTIN 13 must commence with the range 020-029*

* Note - if this identifier is assigned by your customer, you may not be aware of what it is, hence cannot load this level of hierarchy into your NPC.

Then, follow these steps:

  • Enter Y within attribute TradeItemAVariableUnit
  • Specify the average quantity for attribute NetContent
  • Specify the average weight for attributes grossWeight and netWeight
  • If the product is price "per kg" then ensure your Price Basis Quantity is loaded "per kg"
  • In the Trade Item Description, you may include the 'range', e.g. "..10-12kg.." or "..4-6 pack.."

Note: For Foodstuffs, if you only have a single level of packaging (e.g. a shipper, where FS identify the consumer unit), this needs to be loaded as a BASE_UNIT.

For Foodstuffs, data requirements remain as per fixed weight products, as covered here.


Bulk Products

Please note the below guideline is currently under review by Foodstuffs. Please seek clarification from the GS1 Implementation Team before you use this information - you must see article "Foodstuffs Exceptions" for more detail on how Foodstuffs needs bulk product treated.

Please see the "Bulk Product Representation" document.

In a nutshell, it depends if your customer assigns an identifier to the end consumption unit. The document above outlines the most common scenarios.


Non Barcoded Products

A product needs to have a GTIN assigned to it to by the manufacturer/brand owner to be entered into the National Product Catalogue.

If you have a product with no GTIN assigned anywhere in the packaging hierarchy, you can still allocate one to this product from your GS1 allocated number range (there is no need to "print" an actual barcode, unless required by your customers). This will then allow the product and its attributes to be entered into the NPC.

For Foodstuffs, they have advised us that the data requirements for these products are identical to their standard data requirements, as defined here .


Version 1.1 – Updated 1st April 2019

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