Oliver Bolton created Almond in 2017 as an economic framework to incentivize consumers to buy sustainable products, offer transparency around the supply chain and help responsible brands grow their sales.
What a Melon
Speaking at the recent AIPIA (Active, Intelligent Packaging Industry Association) World Congress in Amsterdam last month, Bolton introduced his company to the audience alongside Niall Murphy, co-founder/CEO, EVRYTHNG.
FACT is the first brand Almond created followed by What a Melon this year, with plans for more brands in the future.
“Every FACT can tells the product’s story – where, when and how it was farmed, where and when it was packaged, and its journey to store. It shares its carbon footprint, based upon the journey the ingredients and the finished product,” said Bolton.
“The Almond ‘economy’ is a decentralized IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem that financially incentivizes consumers to buy responsible products and reduce their negative impact.
“It is a live app on the Android and iOS store, and consumers get tokens for scanning a ringpull on a can and can download the product details.
“The benefits are cash rewards. We are planning to make a real change by converting regular consumers into conscious consumers. In the future consumers will demand where their products come from and we offer monetary rewards and points or scores that consumers can build up by making positive changes or by inviting a friend to join the app.
“My background is creating health drinks, I never knew who my customers were but with this I can see who they are, where they are scanning the product and what they are scanning. We are a Not-for-Profit organization based in Switzerland.
“We are encouraging businesses to join us; that’s why the app is free. Brands pay between half and 1% for costs of running the platform, processing and production and the rewards are set by the brands.”
Expanding to 10 brands
Bolton said Almond is currently in the middle of fundraising for the website in London and San Francisco, and by March next year it hopes to have around 10 brands live on the platform.
It has partnered with Crown Packaging to integrate DataMatrix codes printed onto the FACT cans at the point of manufacture and this connects into the Almond blockchain ecosystem.
It uses EVRYTHNG’s mobile SDK (Software Development Kit) to build the consumer app which can access product data and crypto-rewards.
“Almond’s goal is to attract other B Corps wanting to offer transparency to consumers. (B Corp is a global movement of pioneering companies that are using their businesses as forces for good),” added Bolton.
Murphy said EVRYTHNG wanted to be a part of the project because society needs to get recycling conversion rates up.
“We need to change consumer behaviour, educate them and reward them financially. We have 12 years to halve global emissions, carbon dioxide (CO2) rates so we need to come up with something quickly,” said Murphy.
“We are in a world where physical products can be digitilized, we have the ability to know where products come from, the ability to transact with a product, and see where consumer value is defined by authenticity and transparency and from a brand point of view they get traceability of a product.
“The hurdles we face are we need support from packaging companies to help brands understand the investment required with the codes and the positive impact that we can bring. Brands can serve up unique content but we feel there is a need for a monetary scheme, for older generations we will tweak the rewards such as money going towards a charity of their choice.”
GS1 global upgrade
Murphy added, earlier this year GS1 validated a global upgrade of barcodes for a standard web address and format.
GS1 is a not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains global standards for business communication. The best known of these standards is the barcode, a symbol printed on products that can be scanned electronically.
“It’s hard to understate how important this GS1 digital link is. It has been one of the biggest driving forces of digitalization in the last 12 months and Apple and Google now support native codes on every product which will lead to a mass production basis because 2 billion smartphones can now automatically interact with a product,” he said.
“If you don’t know who your customer is and what’s going on in your supply chain you are not in a competitive world.”