Carrefour, the French supermarket giant that operates in more than 30 countries worldwide, has stated that implementing blockchain technology has led to an increase in sales. The multinational retailer announced in October last year that it would start using IBM Blockchain solutions to track various types of food, allowing customers to use their phones to scan a QR code and find out a wealth of information on the product. This has increased sales of these items and demonstrated that being able to trace a product’s history is important to consumers. The results mirror those found by TE-FOOD, the food traceability project that has teamed up with another French retail giant, Auchan, and has resulted in the expansion of their partnership
Tracked Products Selling Quicker
Carrefour’s news came to light last week when Emmanuel Delerm, blockchain project manager at the company, told Reuters that they had launched blockchain information tracking for 20 items including chicken, raw milk, eggs, oranges, cheese, and pork, and will add 100 more this year. Delerm used the example of pomelo grapefruit, stating that customers can find out the date of harvest, the location of cultivation, the plot owner, when the grapefruit was packed, how long it took to transport to Europe, and tips on how to prepare it, all from scanning the QR code. This has led to that particular grapefruit selling faster than the year before according to Delerm, with similar results found with raw chicken.
The positive results have led to Carrefour to plan implementation of blockchain tracking for 100 other items, focusing on areas where consumers want reassurance and that require greater quality controls, like baby and organic products. Despite the initial success, there are still some challenges that the company must address with the support of blockchain technology, such as the case of fruits and vegetables that come from different farms – especially in the case of producers who don’t wish to share too much information. Hopefully, as the technology improves and the benefits become more widely known however, producers will be more willing to share this critical information and these issues can be ironed out.