Launched today in the UK, an app called Almond that digitizes fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) products aims to revolutionize how consumers interact with the food and drink they consume. By scanning the unique hidden codes printed directly onto product packaging, consumers can use the Almond app to learn more about what they’re consuming, including where each ingredient has come from, the journey the product has taken and its carbon footprint.
The digital codes will also unlock cash reward tokens for the consumer to use via a blockchain technology provided by EVRYTHNG. The codes are only revealed to the consumer once a product has been opened, such as under a can ring-pull. This approach allows brands to offer consumers bespoke information and rewards at ‘point of consumption’ and better understand their customers, when and where their products are being consumed, as well as basic anonymized customer data (age band and gender).
“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 & supply chain transparency whilst providing a platform to reward customers with brand tokens they can redeem for cash,” explained Oliver Bolton, Founder of Almond and watermelon drink What A Melon.
“Consumer demand for transparency is increasing. The Almond platform makes it easy for brands to meet this demand and educate consumers about their product journey. In doing so, they are making a statement about themselves as a brand whilst giving themselves a new edge with more detailed consumer data,” he added.
Almond has already partnered with Crown Canning and plans to expand and partner with other packaging companies to streamline the implementation of their unique coded system. FACT organic flavoured water will be the first product to ‘lift its lid’ and reveal its journey ‘from seed to sip’ on the Almond platform. The app will provide detailed product information, including ingredients and their provenance, the processing and manufacturing process, and the estimated carbon footprint of a product at point of consumption.
“Almond’s unique position in the market will provide brands with an unparalleled understanding of their consumers and how they behave. Data will be anonymized, stored and shared responsibly and in line with all GDPR requirements,” Bolton continued. “By joining the Almond platform, brands can also acquire new like-minded customers as users will be able to discover other products featured on Almond – on top of the products they’ve scanned. 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.”
Besides informing both producers and consumers, Oliver hopes that in time Almond will support an engaged community focused on product transparency.
“Almond establishes a new type of relationship between brands and consumers - one that is symbiotic and mutually beneficial, giving consumers control and autonomy over the type of brands they buy and rewarding their loyalty,” Bolton said.
To start with, Almond is focusing on like-minded ‘B Corp’ brands that see the business as an opportunity to drive positive change. After enlisting early adopters, Almond will scale to onboard further partner brands as the platform grows. FACT is among the UK’s 150 Certified B Corporations.
“Today’s most exciting businesses are operating for the benefit of all who contribute to its success – for shareholders and for stakeholders – and as such they are taking responsibility for their broader impact on consumers, communities and the planet,” said Katie Hill, Executive Director of B Lab UK. “This is the future of business and FACT’s tracking of its supply chain as it has developed using the (open source) Almond app demonstrates the future of supply chain technology. By pioneering this level of transparency, and by pulling together remarkable purpose-led brands, the resulting insights give power through information to the consumer to decide which brand values they want to align with.”