Live from AIPIA: QR Code Accesses Baby Formula’s ‘Grass-to-Glass’ Journey

By scanning a QR code on the bottom of the Friso infant formula packaging, consumers can learn about the product's journey from the farm to their home.
By scanning a QR code on the bottom of the Friso infant formula packaging, consumers can learn about the product's journey from the farm to their home.

As global supply chains become increasingly complex and are at risk of counterfeiting, the need to ensure food safety standards has never been higher. Brands must have full visibility from ingredients through to consumption for every product. That was the message from three members of traceability technology provider Kezzler who shared their experiences working on a real-world smart packaging application for an infant formula brand at the AIPIA World Congress, held in November in Amsterdam.

In their presentation, Kezzler’s Chief Technology Officer Johan Borg, Chief Sales Officer John Beerens, and Chief Commercial Officer Cecilie Bergenstjerna told audience members how the company provided one of the world’s largest dairy companies, FrieslandCampina, with global traceability services for its top infant formula brand, Friso. The QR code-based TrackEasy system launched in Hong Kong in August 2019 and is currently being rolled out in Mainland China.

Said Beerens, “Kezzler’s TrackEasy solution is empowering parents to make informed decisions when making a purchase, ensuring them that they are providing the best quality milk for their children, thus giving mums peace of mind that their babies are safe. 

“There is no doubt that consumers are expecting increased levels of transparency in the origin and production of their products. Research indicates that in mainland China and Hong Kong, parents spend up to three hours researching their infancy formula milk, and 90 percent of them indicated they are interested to know more about the food source of their products. In response to this increased level of expectation from consumers for product traceability, formula brands and manufacturers must now offer more visibility to product food source and supply chain management.” 

From l. to r., Cecilie Bergenstjerna, Rob van Stek, Hans Wessels, Johan Borg, and John Beerens.From l. to r., Cecilie Bergenstjerna, Rob van Stek, Hans Wessels, Johan Borg, and John Beerens.Joining the Kezzler trio, FrieslandCampina Senior Project Manager Hans Wessels explained that by scanning the QR code on the bottom of each Friso infant formula tin, consumers can access the full “grass-to-glass” journey from the milk collection at the farm in the Netherlands to the arrival of the product in their own country. TrackEasy also provides information on the item’s packaging date, quality checks carried out during the process, and a map and information about the farm. This includes a 360-degree view of each Friso farms environment, and real-time information on weather, temperature, and recent farm and health check audits. “Our consumers are now able to experience the full journey of their Friso formula milk,” Wessels said.

When asked during the presentation what was the most important criteria for the selection of their solution provider was, another presenter from FrieslandCampina, Project Manager Rob van Stek, noted the importance of the flexibility of Kezzler’s platform and work methodology. “Kezzler’s technology has made the challenge of digitalizing hundreds of thousands of individual products in the supply chain painless. Their technology promises to deliver high flexibility and scalability, with low operational burden, and they have not let us down on this,” he said.

Added Wessels, “Kezzler’s solution has made fast scalability possible for us with the Friso brand. We are now beginning to implement the Track Easy solution across a further 25 countries and hope to begin rolling the solution out across further brands within the FrieslandCampina family soon too.”

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