REWE uses a chicken coop livestream to promote transparency in retail
Nutri-score, local sourcing, fairtrade? With so many different ways and regulations pertaining to food labeling, it’s easy to see why customers can get confused. In close collaboration with Online Software AG, REWE Richrath in Cologne, Germany, shows customers where the store sources the eggs it sells. How does it do that? The tierwohl.tv live TV streaming service broadcasts live inside the chicken coop at the farm of the Hanen family in Elsdorf, a so-called Bioland farm (English: organic farm).
In this interview, Jürgen Berens von Rautenfeld, CEO of Online Software AG talks about a lack of transparency in the food retail industry, the advantages of this new method and the feedback so far.
Mr. Berens von Rautenfeld, why has there been a lack of transparency and greater clarity for consumers up to now?
Jürgen Berens von Rautenfeld: The multitude of different labels indicating organic, local production, fairtrade, quality, Nutri-score and animal welfare features, each with non-transparent criteria – one example of this are EU organic regulations – cause confusion to the consumer. Added to this are the constant horror stories about illegal and even legal transportation of animals and various food scandals, like the recent recalls related to sausages imported from Germany and the Wilke Company. They fuel even more distrust among consumers, especially as it relates to food consumption.
The idea of tierwohl.tv is to change all that and create greater insights. What has the response been so far?
So far, customers, farmers, and retailers have fully embraced tierwohl.tv. Shoppers consider it a valuable behind-the-scenes look at retail operations during their shopping trip. This emotional transparency complements the former parameters that impact purchase decisions such as price and other quality logos.
What made REWE decide to collaborate with the Online Software AG?
Tierwohl.tv developed as the result of discussions between two retail pioneers: Lutz Richrath, who presently operates 15 REWE stores in Cologne and the surrounding area and is considered to be the inventor of local sourcing in German food retailing, and Online Software AG, German retail’s technology market leader in digital pricing and marketing communications.
What exactly are viewers able to see on the stream and how does it benefit the retail industry?
The livestreams from the farms are shown along with other shopping-relevant elements at the stores. In our example dubbed “Dreiklang in Eierregal” (English:
Next Box Triad) this means combining the chicken coop livestream, the chicken run and a close-up view inside the coop with additional background information about the farm, a picture of the friendly farmer and the actual egg displays all lead consumers straight to the shelf at the store.
How has the feedback been so far?
Feedback has been very positive. We put a face to previously anonymous products, which makes it easier for consumers to make a purchase decision that checks off their shopping list, while it also reconciles their ideals of transparency, quality and animal welfare. And ultimately it all leads them to healthy foods.
Are you planning other similar projects?
Thanks to the positive reviews and responses from consumers, associations, policy-makers and the public, the Initiative will be launched on a large-scale in the coming weeks and months. There are already several imminent retail implementations scheduled in the near future.