Mondelēz International is piloting a food traceability program for its Triscuit brand, enabling consumers to learn about the origins of the cracker’s wheat through a QR code on the box.
Though the pilot is a first for Mondelēz in North America, the No. 21 consumer goods company recently piloted a similar project in France that used blockchain technology to trace the journey of Harmony wheat from the field to shelf.
The company joins such other CGs reinforcing their sustainability commitments through traceability as Nestle, which partnered with blockchain platform OpenSC for a pilot tracing milk origins. And as consumers increasingly seek more information about the origins of their food, brands are exploring ways to make this info easily accessible. Starbucks consumers, for example, can use their smartphones to trace the origins of their coffee by scanning a code on the coffee bag or entering a serial number, with details displayed in a mobile app.
In Mondelēz’s North America pilot, consumers can learn about the journey of the wheat from the Triscuit brand’s Unity Gold Farmer Program from farms to the factory. The web app experience, accessible by scanning a QR code, is available on the Triscuit Original 8.5 oz. and Original Family Size boxes.
Upon entering the product’s “best by” date, they can also view the location of the 127-plus farmers who participate in the program, and learn more about the wheat’s journey from the farms to the co-op elevator, mill and bakery. Additional information specific to their particular batch of product, including the wheat harvest year and baked-on date, is also provided.
The boxes are rolling out to retail stores across the U.S. over the next several and will be available through the fall.
Both the North America and France pilots were created with Connecting Food, a blockchain-powered supply chain transparency platform to provide third-party traceability advisement and technology services. Although the France pilot used blockchain technology, the Triscuit pilot does not, a company spokesperson confirmed to CGT. And while Mondelez doesn't currently have additional pilots planned, they intend to use the learnings from both and applying them across the business.
Jay Cooper, Mondelēz International president, North America biscuits, said the company is committed to understanding and meeting consumer needs and preferences.
“Consumers are demanding more transparency about their food, and are keen to have access to information about where their food comes from and how it is grown,” he noted. “This project is an important step forward in our journey to continue providing our stakeholders — and importantly our consumers — an accessible window into that process. We’re excited to test these capabilities with the Triscuit brand here in the U.S. and look forward to expanding our transparency efforts.”
Unilever is partnering on a pilot program that will allow consumers to have ice cream delivered via a fleet of Robomarts — branded vans stocked with products from companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Good Humor, Magnum ice cream, and Talenti.