Alibaba has announced plans to roll out its farm-to-shelf food tracking app to all 64 Hema stores, across 13 cities in China, by the end of the year.
Highly transparent supply chain
The app is already operational in 17 stores in Shanghai and allows shoppers to scan products to better understand both food provence and a products pathway through the supply chain. Through scanning a QR code in-store, using the Hema app, customers can access information including where and when a product was harvested, by which farm collective, the date a product was delivered to store, certificates and licenses of the supplier and distributor, as well as for chilled products, the temperature of the delivery trucks in which the products travelled. All information is available online, allowing those shopping from home to also access the details.
Mainly focused on fresh items
The app first launched in January, with now 1,700 SKU's across nice categories built into the system, including meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, tofu, soy products, fruit and vegetables, rice and cooking oil. The app is designed to alleviate any concerns that shoppers have over product safety, improve knowledge on product provenance, plus encourage healthier liefstyles and will be available in all stores by the end of the year.
First robotic restaurant launches in Shanghai store
Alongside this development, Alibaba have also introduce its first robotic restaurant, called Robot.He, into one of its stores in Shanghai. Customers can book a table via the Hema app, buy their seafood in-store and have it freshly cooked, whilst ordering additional dishes via the app and have the dishes delived to their table by robot waiters that run along raised table-high runways. The technology helps reduce costs significantly and helps the retailer deliver great value to shoppers.