Calon Wen, the Welsh organic milk co-operative, is looking to tap into consumers’ growing interest in provenance and local produce by bringing its own story to life on its packs through QR codes.
The co-op is gearing up to re-label its packs next month to coincide with the opening of its new South Wales dairy. The new packs will feature the codes, which consumers can scan using a smartphone app. Once a code has been scanned, the app starts to play a video that tells the story of Calon Wen milk and the farmers whose products go into Calon Wen products. Calon Wen will be the first UK dairy company to use QR codes on its packs.
The concept was developed for Calon Wen by Wales-based photographer and ‘story collector’ Kirsty Morris, who has been exploring how new technology including QR codes can help small, artisan companies punch above their weight in their marketing initiatives. In the video Morris made for Calon Wen, one of the co-operatives’ 25 organic farmers introduces himself and his family, talks about how he got into organic farming and explains how the milk produced by his cows ends up in Calon Wen products.
Calon Wen’s Richard Arnold said this would be the video that would be used when the codes go live in September, but Calon Wen planned to refresh the videos seasonally to show the realities of organic farming through the year, “warts and all”.
The co-op also plans to use the QR codes for industrial purposes, such as tracking traceability.
Smartphones rely on an internet connection to use QR codes, and Arnold said retailers now needed to invest in getting Wi-Fi into their stores if they wanted QR codes to really take off.
Calon Wen produces organic milk, cream, butter and cheese, which are sold nationwide. Its products are listed by Waitrose and Ocado, as well as Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s in Wales and the Border region, and Spar stores in North and mid-Wales.