This is a description of a software solution developed for Riordan’s SuperValu in Fermoy, County Cork. It addresses the need to provide nutritional and place-of-origin information for unpackaged food products.
Consumers are demanding more information about the food they buy: Does this product contain gluten (or any one of a number of other food allergens)? How many calories in a serving? Was the chicken sourced locally? In the case of fish, was it caught at sea or farmed? With packaged food products the information can be provided on the package, but how do you approach this with unpackaged products?
The problem is particularly acute for high-end grocery retailers who stock a wide range of non-prepacked products. Up to now, the solution has been to make nutritional information available as printed spreadsheets, often held together in a ring binder. Finding the details of a particular product can be challenging for shoppers, and managing reams of spreadsheets can be a challenge for food safety managers.
Is this the best we can do in the Digital Age?
We built a web-based software system that enables food retailers to manage information for non-prepacked products in an efficient and reliable way, and to present that information to their customers in a format the customer finds easy to use:
- On touchscreen information points on the shop floor, satisfying the requirements of EU Regulation 1169/2011;
- On the Web, for home deliveries;
- And on smartphones, for the customer’s convenience.
The system can be viewed online at www.thefoodregister.com.