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When health food and supplements brand Healtheries (part of the Vitaco network) was asked to meet new extended labelling data requirements by FoodstuffsNew Zealand’s largest grocery distributorthe company needed more than just an easy-to-use solution to help them comply.

 With four new products due to be launched to market in a very short timeframe, Vitaco reached out to Bizcaps to tackle the challenge of providing this extended product information in time for market launch.

Found in supermarkets and grocery stores across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, Healtheries’ product range includes supplements, snacks, beverages and cereals.

In November 2019, Healtheries’ major grocery distributor partner, Foodstuffs, announced expanded GS1 National Product Catalogue (NPC) data requirements for richer and more consistent information across their article range. This change meant the Vitaco team in charge of supplying product information needed to source and submit additional data for all products.

With the launch date for four new Healtheries products approaching fast, Vitaco sought the advice of Bizcaps, who already had a successful partnership with the company providing a consumer feedback workflow solution and product catalogue data management software to control the exchange of validated item and pricing data to the NPC.

The challenge was to identify a solution that made it simple to obtain and share the additional data requirements (up to 200 data elements per product) to both the NPC and the Foodstuffs National Product Information Management (Nat PIM) system while meeting the upcoming launch deadline for the new products.

Product data beyond logistics

The expanded product data requirements involved information that differed from the standard logistical data currently supplied to the NPC, essentially falling under a new vertical that was focused on retail and online marketing. This included fields such as food star ratings, allergens and nutritional information for consumers, as well as certain ingredients to be promoted as selling points.

As a certified NPC service provider, Bizcaps worked with Vitaco to first identify and source the expanded product data elements, then pass this data on to populate both the NPC and Foodstuffs’ Nat PIM system, in order to comply with the requirements.

Iris Huynh, Technical Coordinator at Vitaco, explains that “when the new requirements were first sent through from Foodstuffs, it was very difficult to navigate – there was a significant list of codes we hadn’t encountered before and trying to decode everything was extremely complex and time-consuming. Bizcaps was able to provide us with a simpler process that made it easy and much more efficient to establish the required values and supply the data.”

A streamlined solution in time for product launch

With an expanded product data support solution in place, Vitaco was able to meet Foodstuffs’ expanded NPC requirements. This was achieved within the tight timeframes the team had hoped to meet, with a confirmation email from Foodstuffs received on the day of launch stating that all new products had been enriched and approved in their Nat PIM system.

As a result, all four products could be successfully released in stores and online, enabling Vitaco to avoid the unwanted consequences of missing the launch deadline – which would have seen the company losing out on product sales, facing increased marketing campaign expenses, and paying additional costs for warehousing.

“What started as a very stressful prospect of trying to meet tight deadlines ended up being a complete success,” says Iris, who praised the responsiveness of Bizcaps throughout the project. “We worked very closely as a team during the process – and having prompt responses from Bizcaps to our queries really helped get everything across the line in time”.

 Staying on top of changing requirements

As the expanded NPC information required by Foodstuffs is often dynamic in nature and subject to change, Bizcaps ensured it was simple for this data to be updated, so all product information remains accurate, compliant and up to date.

For example, as Iris points out, “cocoa was originally listed as an allergen but later removed from this category; thanks to the straightforward data entry process, making this change was quick and simple.”

Vitaco was thrilled to be able to launch all four of Healtheries’ new products on time, while the expanded product data support solution set up by Bizcaps makes it easy to continue providing the required product information to both the NPC and Foodstuffs.