Campaign of the Week

16 January 2024

Thai supermarket upgrades app to send shoppers sell-by-date alerts 

Gourmet Market tackles food waste with an app feature that reminds people when their produce is about to expire, increases downloads by 14%

In November 2023, supermarket Gourmet Market launched a campaign in Thailand to help people use the food in their fridges before it goes bad.

The premium supermarket chain collaborated with Dentsu Creative Thailand, Bangkok, on an in-app tool that tracks the expiration dates of food bought in Gourmet Market branches. When placing an order, people can opt-in to the feature on the order summary page.

Activated upon purchasing, The Cupboard To Fight Food Waste sends notifications to buyers’ mobile phones, reminding them to consume their produce before it expires.

Users can mark off consumed items on the app, and the tracker also allows them to monitor their contributions to reducing food waste.

Results / According to the agency, the campaign has earned over THB4m ($114,000) in PR value. App downloads grew by 14% while active users increased by 18.1%.

Contagious Insight 

Be of use / With this campaign, the supermarket furnishes customers with a practical tool, adding value to their overall shopping experience and affording itself an edge in the local food retail scene, which is competitive in Gourmet Market’s primary operating area of Bangkok.

The brand identified a customer issue – food waste – and provided utility, much like Unilever mayonnaise brand Hellmann’s. ‘No one ever sets out wanting to throw food away,’ Hellmann’s global brand VP Christina Bauer-Plank told Contagious in 2022. ‘People often have good intentions and want to make a positive difference, but they become overwhelmed and don’t know how they personally can contribute.’

Research commissioned by Hellmann’s found that the fridge is the primary source of all food waste, with over 80% of household food waste originating from ingredients that spoil in fridges and are subsequently discarded. The Cupboard To Fight Food Waste tackles the same insight with a fresh creative execution, helping people waste less without asking them to amend their shopping habits.

‘We think in this case just raising awareness is not enough’ Jakkrit Limkarn, Dentsu Creative Thailand’s associate creative director told Contagious. ‘We developed The Cupboard to Fight Food Waste as a tool that is simple and can be a part of daily life so everyone can join to do good things effortlessly.’ 

As we outline in our Selling Sustainability Better trend, it’s not enough to just raise awareness of the issues anymore, you have to give shoppers actionable information. The in-app tool does just that, facilitating the reduction of food waste for Gourmet Market shoppers. This simple, user-friendly and rewarding system fosters a sense of accomplishment, enhancing the overall customer journey and giving people a reason to shop at Gourmet Market rather than anywhere else.  

Sustainability sells / This sustainability focused initiative doesn’t just offer a practical advantage to those shopping at Gourmet Market in the short term, it also portrays the brand as socially responsible, building brand image in the long term.

In our deep dive on Hellmann’s, we analysed how fighting food waste emerged in response to the consumer-driven demand for brands to act responsibly and provided the brand with a unique differentiating factor. According to research from Edelman (which played an instrumental role in helping Hellmann’s investigate consumer attitudes towards food waste) consumer demand for responsible brands is significant. As Katy Evans, group client director at Edelman told Contagious, 64% of consumers consider themselves ‘belief-driven buyers’, which results in them ‘buying into a brand, then buying from a brand because of the stance they take in the world’. She stated: ‘If people like Hellmann’s more, they will buy more from us.’  

With this campaign, Gourmet Market takes a risk: helping customers use up ingredients (and make fewer trips for groceries) could encourage customers to spend less. By offering the tool anyway, the brand displays genuine commitment to transparency and responsible consumption that aligns with customers’ ethical expectations.

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