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Why Food Traceability Matters: PART 2

The grocery story of the future

Supply Chain Traceability

In last month’s post, I explained how American millennials and affluent consumers are distrusting of marketing efforts and large systems they don’t understand. They are seeking authentic experiences and relationships. Companies who are able to communicate to customers about the company’s relationships with their suppliers and the ingredients included in their products will be best positioned to build market share among these consumer groups. In this post, I’ll explore what this relationship between global food producer and consumer might look like in the near future.

A shopper is walking through the store picking up supplies for a weekend barbecue. Through his phone mobile app, he follows all of his favorite brands so he can get alerts for special weekend deals as he shops. His phone vibrates with an updated alert. The company that produces his favorite brand of organic bratwurst just issued a recall. He worries that the package of brats in his cart might be affected. He pulls out his phone and scans the bar code. He’s immediately directed to the company’s website.

According to the product code, the shopper discovers that his package of brats is affected by the recall. He clicks on a video link where the CEO explains that the company had switched suppliers and failed to update their labeling. It turns out that some of the seasonings were produced in a factory that also processed nuts, and therefore, posed a risk for individuals with peanut allergies. The CEO apologized for the inconvenience and offered a digital coupon for a free package of brats.

The shopper downloads the coupon to his mobile phone app. Since he and his family have no allergies, he continues purchasing the same brand. He’s so excited about the great deal, he grabs another package and posts an invite to his barbecue to his friends on Facebook with a link to the company’s website.

This future isn’t far away. Companies have been experimenting with web portals offering consumers production and traceability data for a decade, and many are actively implementing technology to link up their supply chain in a way that will eventually provide retail customers and end consumers real-time access to their products’ traceability data through retail portals and mobile applications. Come back next month, and we’ll look at how this technology is evolving.

Written by:

Kathy Barbeire, Marketing Manager, CAT SquaredKathy Barbeire
CAT Squared Marketing Manager
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