Distributors Image Requirements Are Changing – How To Be Ready

Do you have GS1 compliant images for your distributor partners? Quality food images are becoming a critical component for food manufacturers as distributors push their customers toward online ordering. Many distributors are increasing their requirements to include the full complement of GS1 required images (outer case, open case, package, raw) and even starting to require styled images of some products. Manufacturers who do not comply are penalized with fines – or even worse – poor rankings on their ordering sites and DSR laptops.

GS1 images are standardized and can be secured at a minimal cost. GS1 images are standardized and require specific naming. We provide that service to many of our clients today. We also provide an online portal with reports, so you can see at a glance the images you have in place and any image voids to quickly answer questions from Sales and distributor customers.

Styled images are much trickier, and demand is growing. High quality food photography requires both a stylist and experienced food photographer and image costs can run into the thousands of dollars. So, how do you generate styled images that make your products both distributor compliant and effective selling tools without breaking the bank? Here are three tactics to consider:

  1. Look to your current photo library – The best place to start is with the images you already have created for brochures and sell sheets. Many can be repurposed and published to the GDSN for a fraction of the cost of new photography. A carefully analysis and a little creativity can often enable a single photo to be used for multiple products.
  2. Adapt an existing image – Some existing shots can be adapted through photoshop to appear as styled, plated images. One example is with side items. An existing pickle or fries shot can be combined in photoshop with a royalty-free stock burger image to create a beautiful plated image without having a stylist create the entire image. Use of selective focus can help make this type of image appear authentic.
  3. Shoot styled images in bulk & combine with GS1 photography – By combining styled and GS1 shoots, you can cut down on product needed and shipping. By planning out the shoot, keeping the styling simple, and shooting multiple products at one time, you can take advantage of some cost efficiencies. IBI Data is very competitive for GS1 and simple styled shots and your representative will be happy to provide a quote if needed.

Finally, once you have invested in this photography and published to the GDSN, you need a robust internal image management system that allows your marketing, customer service, sales, and broker teams the ability to use these images.

Ryan Group/IBI Data provides a robust image management system – just contact 877-424-8725 for a demo.