French Retailer Carrefour Gets Sales Boost from Blockchain Tracking Technology

Carrefour blockchain tracking technology

French mega retailer Carrefour has said a recent boost in its sales can be attributed to its use of a blockchain platform for tracking food sold through its supermarkets.

The leading grocer said that with the help of blockchain technology tracking produce from farm to shelf, the firm had seen sales increase across a number of different types of fresh produce, including milk, meat and fruit.

According to Carrefour’s blockchain project manager, Emmanuel Delerm, the initiative has proved popular with customers across France and Italy, as well as in China, with customers spending as much as 90 seconds reading information about products and their supply chains before buying.

At its China-based stores, the technology has become popular because of the widespread use of QR codes, with consumers in China already familiar with using the technology in a variety of everyday settings.

The blockchain tracking platform was built in partnership with IBM Blockchain, and allows customers to access detailed product information by scanning a QR barcode. This provides information about the product including the date of harvest, the location of the grower or farmer, transportation information and tips on how best to prepare and cook the food.

According to Delerm, the initiative has seen sales of a number of products rise since its introduction.

“The pomelo (a citrus fruit) sold faster than the year before due to blockchain. We had a positive impact on the chicken versus the non-blockchain chicken.”

Initially, the platform covered 20 different products for the trial phase. Following the success of the initial rollout, Carrefour now plans to extend the trial to 100 products, with a particular focus on goods where consumers are concerned about the supply chain — including baby produce and organic foods and ingredients.

The firm is reported to be working closely with suppliers, including food giant Nestle, to develop the tracking technology further, as well as sharing product information in both directions.

According to Delerm, the tracking provides a “halo effect” of trust across the full range of Carrefour stock, with consumers more likely to trust produce more generally as a result of the transparency afforded by the blockchain platform.