Carrefour, the French retail giant, noticed a significant increase in sales and attributed this success to the way products are tracked on the blockchain.

Particular success in China

Carrefour’s blockchain project manager Emmanuel Delerm reported that the use of blockchain technology to track meat, milk and fruit from the farm to the supermarket has increased sales of these products.

Blockchain tracking has been particularly successful in China, where shoppers are more used to scanning QR codes on product packaging.

The initiative has also proved equally popular in Italy and France, where, according to some statistics, shoppers spend up to 90 seconds reading the product information.

Collaboration with IBM

Thanks to the blockchain tracking, created in collaboration with IBM Blockchain, customers can scan a QR barcode on the product with their smartphone and get a lot of information, such as the date of collection, the location and owner of the company, the date of packaging, the duration of transport and useful tips on how to prepare it.

“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,”

Carrefour, to date, has only 20 traced items, including chicken, eggs, milk, oranges, pork and cheese. However, the retailer plans to add another 100 products to the system. In particular, he wants to focus on products for which consumers want to be reassured, such as children’s or organic products.

“The tech creates a “halo effect,” meaning if shoppers feel they can trust one Carrefour product, they will also trust other items”

However, there are still challenges for full tracking on the blockchain, such as farmers’ resistance towards sharing too much sensitive information.