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. In response to consumer pressure, companies are learning the importance of traceability and seeking ways to communicate with the customers about their relationships with suppliers and the ingredients included in their products. Those that are proactively seeking these solutions 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 manufacturing 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. With concerns of possible contamination, he clicks on a video link where the CEO explains that the company had switched suppliers and failed to update the label. The shopper also learned from the video 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. As shown in this article’s shopping experience, the company was able to take swift action to notify the public of the important safety alert because of the utilization of CAT Squared’s Complete Traceability Portal which incorporates all of our systems to deliver farm-to-fork traceability to consumers. Come back next month, and we’ll look at how this technology is evolving.