Last month’s post took us on a futuristic trip to the grocery store to explore how global food producers will soon be adopting technology to build relationships with consumers. In this post, we’ll show you how that future isn’t too far away. Obviously, many companies are already using QR codes on their products to link directly to a company’s website, promotional offers, or interactive content from a mobile device. (My personal favorite is the QR code featured on Heinz ketchup bottles that link to Trivial Pursuit and other table games. Those games are a lifesaver when waiting for a meal with a table full of hungry kids. Thank you, Heinz!)
This is the first step of building your brand’s interactive presence. But building a trusting relationship with your brand’s consumers takes a lot more planning and investment in technology that can provide you and your customers with real-time data and product traceability.
As we mentioned in our first post, this new generation of consumers are less openly trusting and demand more data about the products they consume. They have grown accustomed to having endless amounts of data at their fingertips, and will gravitate towards brands that provide the open transparency they crave. Additionally, they are more likely to publicly advocate for their favorite brands on social media.
One example of how a company used traceability and real-time data to protect its market share is Banvit’s response to a bird flu outbreak in Turkey that affected many poultry producers. Thankfully, Banvit’s products didn’t contain meat sourced from any of the affected suppliers. However, the outbreak was front-page news, and the company had to convince consumers that their product was safe.
Banvit was lucky. The company had been making heavy investments in modernizing their plants for nearly a decade. The management team already had access to real-time production data via executive dashboards and scoreboards installed by CAT Squared. All they needed to do was create a public portal so this data could be accessed via the company’s website.
In less than a month, Banvit embarked on an extensive marketing campaign, explaining how their CAT Squared systems allowed them to achieve complete product traceability, proving that their birds were not sourced from the affected suppliers. Banvit’s customers could buy a tray of chicken, type the serial number from the tray into a field on Banvit’s website, and view a complete genealogy report that tracked the product back to the broiler’s farm, flock, and breeder. This groundbreaking approach allowed Banvit to stand apart from the competition.
Banvit’s response to the avian flu crisis was swift, but this action never would have been possible without the company’s previous investments to integrate their data-collection systems. Now, companies are moving beyond just integrating the systems within their plants. The emergence of blockchain technology will allow for never-before-seen traceability for ingredients and products across the supply chain. More details on this development will be included in a future post.