French retail giant Carrefour has seen a boost in sales following its integration of blockchain technology, Reuters has reported. According to the newswire, Carrefour is using the tech to track the supply chain of items such as fruit, milk and meat from farms to stores to provide customers with information about the products’ origin and quality. Carrefour has developed the system in partnership with IBM.
The French retailer is tracking 20 items currently and plans to add 100 more this year, with a focus on areas where consumers want reassurance, like baby and organic products.
“You are building a halo effect – ‘If I can trust Carrefour with this chicken, I can also trust Carrefour for their apples or cheese,’” Emmanuel Delerm, blockchain project manager at Carrefour, said as quoted by Reuters.
The blockchain system employed by the retailer allows customer to scan QR codes with their phones to find information about a particular product. For example, by scanning a QR code on a pomelo grapefruit, a customer can find out various details about the fruit, such as date of harvest, location of cultivation, the owner of the plot, when it was packed, how long it took to transport to Europe and tips on how to prepare it, Reuters notes. Delerm told the newswire that the pomelo has sold faster than the previous year.
“We had a positive impact on the chicken versus the non-blockchain chicken,” he also added.
According to the report, Carrefour’s initiative has been particularly popular in China, where customers are already used to scanning QR codes while shopping. The system has also been received well in Italy and France. Some shoppers are spending as long as 90 seconds reading the provenance information, according to Delerm, who also says that they are interested in information about the origin of products and how animals are cared for.
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