The Journey

If I were to ask someone if they “tracked” their food, chances are they would immediately think of an app that allows them to input what they ate for the day (some even by scanning the QR code on the package), and then the app would provide them with a tallied count of their daily nutritional information.  However, stepping further into the digital age for coding, labeling and marking, perhaps upcoming generations won’t share the same association of food “tracking” as we do today.  Perhaps instead they will think of it as more of an actual journey their food has been on to get to them.

I recently stumbled upon an article that talked about one such company that could be setting the stage for this transformation with its modern tracking technologies being used to create a food journey.  It was recently announced that Bumble Bee Foods, a shelf-stable seafood company, is using the SAP® Cloud Platform Blockchain service to trace the journey of its yellowfin tuna from the Indonesian ocean right to the dining room table. According to the announcement, together, SAP and Bumble Bee continue to innovate and improve upon seafood traceability as more and more consumers demand to know their food is safe and sustainably sourced.

With SAP’s blockchain technology, consumers and customers can access the complete origin and history of Bumble Bee Foods’ Natural Blue® by Anova® yellowfin tuna by using their smartphones to scan a QR code on the product package. With the snap of the code, the blockchain technology provides information about the fish-to-market journey, including the size of the catch, point of capture and the fishing community that caught it, as well as valuable insights to verify authenticity, freshness, safety, fair trade fishing certification and sustainability.

This new technology is providing assurance that the fish is fresh, and it’s been sourced fairly according to the company’s commitments to the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation.

Blockchain technology is making it possible for companies like Bumble Bee Foods to store data and create a “tamper-proof” supply chain history, which can be shared and seen by each participant along the voyage revolutionizing the future of food tracking.

Labeling, coding and marking has indeed become a beast of its own in the packaging world as new technologies allow for its growth, which is why I was not surprised to see the new addition of the PACKage Printing Pavilion this year at Pack Expo. In this debuting pavilion, attendees can find innovations in labeling, coding and marketing solutions and other smart package printing options.

In the September issue of Packaging Technology Today, readers can also find more thought-leadership articles from industry experts on the advantages of digitalization for labels, as well as best practices for labeling and coding in the CBD market and how it transfers to wellllll… any market really.