Branston brings GS1 Digital Link with Orca Scan to UK supermarkets

British brand manufacturer Branston is deploying the 2D code Digital Link from the GS1 community for its products. The company, which is part of Japanese Mizkan Group, uses technology from software specialist Orca Scan. The Cambridge-based software company is a partner of GS1 UK and offers a cloud-based platform for tracking barcodes. The solution makes it easier for suppliers to create and maintain GS1 Digital Link QR codes and is fully integrated into the GS1 Resolver eco system.

Branston is one of the first brand manufacturers to bring the GS1 Digital Link to UK supermarkets. When customers scan the QR code with their smartphone, it takes them to a product-specific website with additional information, without the need for an app. There they can find, for example, recipes as well as info on ingredients and allergens or on recycling.


The retail industry has launched a global initiative called ‘Sunrise 2027’ to replace the traditional barcode with a web-enabled two-dimensional version by the end of 2027. By beginning of 2028, all checkouts and data collection stations shall be able to be read the Data Link code. Until then, product packaging must also contain the barcode.

Products become web-enabled

The GS1 Digital Link connects a product to the internet by means of unique identification, for example via GTIN. This allows the manufacturer via link to flexibly provide various information relevant for consumers and supply chain partners. The linked information can be updated at any time without having to renew the QR code. This can be additional information on allergens and ingredients or product videos, for example. The code can therefore replace extensive texts on the packaging while taking up little space. It also enables the best-before date to be checked at the checkout, for example.

The GS1 Resolver Service makes it possible to store a wide variety of online content in different languages and formats for a standardised web address. Depending on the application and context in which users call up a GS1 Digital Link, the appropriate information is provided. GS1 Germany offers the service in collaboration with Berlin-based cloud provider Goods Tag in its country.

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Joachim Pinhammer

Joachim Pinhammer supports retail and technology companies with consulting and marketing expertise. He was Senior Analyst and Research Director Retail Technology at the London-based analyst group Planet Retail. Prior to that, he was the global marketing director for the retail division of Wincor Nixdorf (now Diebold Nixdorf). Joachim Pinhammer is a regular speaker at events organised by Messe Düsseldorf (EuroShop and EuroCIS), the EHI and further industry conferences. His reports are regularly published by trade magazines and online retail industry media.

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