Proving sustainably-sourced ingredients in health and wellness foods

Bee hive
Image credit: The Pink Lady Bee

Food brands have always recognised the importance of sourcing the right ingredients. Choosing where ingredients come from is a critical choice in determining the final quality of the product. But given its importance, it has often not been central to a brand’s story; worries remain about opening the supply chain and creating new vulnerabilities.

That stance is now changing. As shoppers increasingly demand to know this information, there is a value in being able to confidently tell this story. But the difficulty is that it’s not always easy for brands to prove.

Nowhere is this truer than in health and wellness foods – a category where claims such as ‘free-from’ and ‘natural’ have become part of packaging language and lifestyles. A category that in 2018 was valued at 446 billion USD, growing faster than overall packaged food goods, and has become an important influence on North American and Western European markets.

Large brands recognise this and have now moved into the space, often acquiring challenger brands. This means more competition for smaller brands, but also an opportunity to compete on sustainability messaging.

Communicating sustainable sourcing at Balance Festival

This was the context in which Balance Festival in Shoreditch, London was held last weekend. A wellness and festival with over 100 smaller vendors showcasing healthy food and drink brands. We were approached by Tina Paine, founder of The Pink Lady Bee who makes 100% raw honey, to help communicate her story at the event. In an industry that has struggled against contaminated products and lack of sourcing visibility, she wanted to prove that her honey was sustainably-sourced from family beekeepers in Bulgaria.

Scanning QR code to discover sustainability

Shoppers could scan a QR code to see proof of The Pink Lady Bee’s supplier

Using our platform, she created an interactive story that included a digital ‘handshake’ with her beekeepers. Attendees of the festival could scan a QR code on her stand to see this proof of origin. This gave her an opportunity to support the claims on her packaging and help build trust with shoppers.

Knowing the source of ingredients will only continue to increase in importance as market demands grow. It will no longer be acceptable to keep this buried in the supply chain. The onus will be on healthy foods and wellness brands to communicate this information in an open, honest and trustworthy way.

Interested in how other businesses have used our platform to open up their supply chain? See our cases studies.