20% of the top 10 global grocers will use blockchain for food safety and traceability by 2025, according to Gartner.
“Blockchain can help deliver confidence to their customers, and build and retain trust and loyalty,” says Joanne Joilet, Senior Research Director at Gartner. “Grocery retailers are trialling and looking to adopt the technology to provide transparency for their products. Additionally, understanding and pinpointing the product source quickly may be used internally, for example to identify products included in a recall.”
Walmart, for instance, is now requiring suppliers of leafy greens to implement a farm-to-store tracking system based on blockchain. Others, such as Unilever and Nestlé, are also using the technology to trace food contamination.
“As grocers are being held to higher standards of visibility and traceability they will lead the way with the development of blockchain, but we expect it will extend to all areas of retail,” says Joliet. “Similar to how the financial services industry has used blockchain, grocers will evolve best practices as they apply blockchain capabilities to their ecosystem. Grocers also have the opportunity to be part of the advancement of the technology as they develop new use cases for important causes for health, safety and sustainability.”
Carrefour recently announced that it wants to track 20% of all in-house products on the blockchain by the end of 2019.
It currently uses the technology to track 20 out of its 300 Carrefour-branded products across the supply chain, and plans to add about 40 more over the coming months, Carrefour Blockchain Programme Director Emmanuel Delerm told Hard Fork.
Carrefour has implemented blockchain pilots in six countries, including France, Italy, Spain, and China. Customers can access information about the origin of the product they’re buying by scanning a QR code on the packaging.
“When we tested this feature in China – we tested it with a Chinese pomelo – we got incredible figures,” Delerm said. “Customers scanned one out of two (or three) pomelos to check where the fruit was coming from.”
“In countries like Belgium or Spain, we noticed that customers scanned only about one out of 20 pomelos,” he added.