- Sharing UPC Codes
Sunday, November 09, 2008 3:03 PM
Subject: Sharing UPC Codes
I've been working in beer retail since May and have learned a lot about the
world of bottled beers. As I am currently a link between the brewing and retail
worlds, I want to recommend that breweries do not share UPC codes between seasonal
beers (or any beers).
If you are wondering why your favorite retailer
hasn't reordered your current hot seasonal, it could be because the reorder only
kicks in when the quantity in stock hits zero. If the retailer is sitting on any
of your last seasonal beer, the store's buyer may not know the store is out of
your new seasonal.
I have seen very established, professional breweries
that I hold in high esteem do this, even though I am certain they can afford another
UPC code. Some breweries use the same UPC on four seasonals a year! Even two seasonals
sharing a UPC code per year is too many.
The store I work for currently
stocks 1,200 different bottled beers at a time. We overlap all the seasonal seasons.
(i.e.: Summer into Oktoberfest into Pumpkin into Fresh Hop into Christmas into
Winter.) If the stocker is paying attention, she/he can leave a note for the buyer
that, "We are completely out of XXX Brewery's Christmas beer, even though
we still have plenty of their Fresh Hop," etc. Don't let your sales depend
on a stocker's knowledge of your shared UPC codes.
To keep all your beers
flowing smoothly through the brewery-distributor-retail system, please use a separate
UPC code for each beer. Thank you!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 1:54 PM
Subject: Re: Sharing UPC Codes
UPC Code Controversy.
What a controversy I stirred up over shared UPC
codes! I received several emails privately that explained quite succinctly how
chain stores lock in their UPC-coded products once per year, and only do shelf
resets once per year. Shared UPC codes allow chain stores to swap a new seasonal
beer into the same shelf space once their last seasonal beer is gone.
been forwarding the responses to my Forum post to my boss at Belmont Station.
He has given me permission to forward his response to the Forum after I delete
the brewery-specific references. Here it is:
for the updates, it's good to hear perspectives from people like <famous owner
of famous craft brewery> who have to deal with giant chains on a regular basis.
Honestly, I can handle the things like <local Christmas beer and Summer seasonal>
overlapping, but this line really sums up my biggest frustration:
course, this "flip" only works with same priced beers."
someone like <a different famous craft brewery> puts out half a dozen one-off
beers (not seasonals) which happen to be available at the same time (e.g.: <Christmas
beer, fresh hop beer, and one-off beer>), and charge different prices for said
one-offs, it becomes a pain in the ass to keep track of it and price it all accordingly.
If 2 beers at different price points share the same UPC we have no choice but
to charge the higher price for both. This makes us look bad in comparison to someplace
like <local chain store> where they only stock the cheaper of the 2 products
and their price for said beer is $1/bottle less than ours...
keep the replies coming; I gotta get back to receiving stuff...