Gartner expects that, by 2025, 20% of the top ten global grocers by revenue will use blockchain for food safety and traceability to create visibility on production, quality and freshness.
The company indicated in a media release issued this week that yearly grocery sales are on the rise in all regions worldwide, with an emphasis on fast, fresh prepared foods.
Moreover, customer understanding of the sources of the food, the provider’s sustainability initiatives and overall freshness have increased. Therefore, grocery retailers that provide visibility and can certify their products according to certain standards are likely to win the trust and loyalty of consumers.
“Blockchain can help deliver confidence to a grocer’s customers, and build and retain trust and loyalty,” said Gartner senior researcher Joanne Joliet.
“Grocery retailers are trialling and looking to adopt blockchain technology to provide transparency [of] their products. Additionally, understanding and pinpointing the product source quickly may be used internally, for example, to identify products included in a recall.”
Blockchain seems to be a suitable technology to foster transparency and visibility along the food supply chain. Encryption capabilities on the food source, quality, transit temperature and freshness can be used to ensure the data is accurate and will give confidence to both consumers and retailers.
Some grocers have already been experimenting with blockchain and are developing best practices. For example, Walmart is now requiring suppliers of leafy greens to implement a farm-to-store tracking system based on blockchain. Other grocers, such as Unilever and Nestlé, are also using blockchain 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,” Joliet said.
“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 blockchain as they develop new use cases for important causes for health, safety and sustainability.”