An App for Food Transparency

Changing how consumers engage and interact with the food and drink they consume is seen as a big part of the sustainable supply chain conundrum. If people can understand where and how their goods are made, there is a better chance of incentivising more ethical and responsible production further down the chain.

So, step forward a new app called Almond. It can digitise fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) products so that consumers have much more information at their fingertips. Individuals can use their smart phones to scan a unique code printed on product packaging. Then, via the app, they get to learn more about what they’re buying and consuming, including where the ingredients have come from and the carbon footprint of the journey from farm to store. “The future for products is open, transparent and fair,” says the business.

Interestingly, the digital codes offer financial rewards that consumers can cash in via blockchain technology platforms, such as bitcoin. You’ll only get a code once a product has been opened, such as under a can ring-pull. Of course, the whole thing is data rich, giving brands crucial information about their customers at point of consumption.

“Almond finally gives retail brands a way to digitise their products. It enables them to build deeper relationships with their customers by building trust through product and supply chain transparency while providing a platform to reward customers with brand cryptocurrency tokens they can redeem for cash,” says founder Oliver Bolton.

The Internet of Things platform integrated in the Almond Distributed Ledger Technology allows the company to digitise products and create a detailed profile for every unique item. This includes provenance, the manufacturing process and estimated carbon footprint. “At the same time it enables brands to show they are open and transparent, while giving themselves a new edge with more detailed consumer data.”

FACT organic flavoured water is the first product to make use of the app and Almond plans to partner with many packaging companies to streamline the implementation of its unique coded system.

We know that consumer demand for transparency is increasing. According to a 2015 survey by Nielsen, globally, 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. Millennials go even further, with 73% indicating a similar preference.

Meanwhile, plenty has been written about the potential for blockchain technology to disrupt the way consumers engage with the products they buy, to truly understand the journey of their favourite snack bar, for example. Well, this could be the start of a new breed of apps and platforms promoting ultimate transparency in retail.

“The gamification of Almond will allow users to interact with brands in a new way, directly reaping the rewards of their use of the app and pledging their allegiance to brands based on the way they approach transparency and supply chain traceability,” adds Bolton.

Watch this space.