Counterfeit spices has been a century old problem in India-most customers have often read about how food adulteration damages the human body and impacts health. A recent news of a factory making fake spices using donkey dung, Hay and acids has once again raised eyebrows on how far the food they eat is safe? The Indian middle class has grown up with public service messages about how to detect fake spices using simple but impractical methods like mixing it with water. Customers are aware but do not have an easy way to stay safe before the actual purchase.
The key challenge with spice is that it could be adulterated easily with commonly found, cheap materials and potentially dangerous. The ease and scale of consumption attracted all kinds of players to create fake masala powders. Food department officials say, such adulterants might prove to be a health hazard.
The low price point and form factor for the product was a challenge - consumers needed to have an easy and fast process for verification.
Bad spices could impact the taste for the discerning taste buds of the spice-loving Indian palate, and potentially damage sales for the key revenue line in the brands portfolio.
The packets of masala powder were sold in the billions, and it was easy to substitute anywhere along the supply chain.
The solution had to be easy for people across all age, affluence, and literacy categories - in line with the persona of the buyers across the country.
Ennoventure designed a solution that involved the consumer simply scanning the product packaging to get instant feedback on the product authenticity. Post authentication they have the option to engage further with the brand.
The patented invisible signature by Ennoventure was encoded into the product packaging artwork with no change to the factory or production process.The brand continued to produce and ship out millions of packets with no interruption to their supply chain.
Consumers only needed a basic smartphone with an internet connection and camera, and the knowledge to take a photo. Ennoventure designed the solution to work across the range of mobile phones in the market.The solution was designed to work with different camera types, operating systems, and browsers.
The invisible signature was not visible to any malicious party across the supply chain - what cannot be seen is difficult to copy. The solution covered all types of counterfeiters - opportunistic low-tech players to large scale counterfeiters with factories and tools.
Engagement and Authentication - In a limited period of a few months - more than half a million consumers engaged with the solution and more than 50% of them proceeded to scan the packaging for verification. The uptake of authentication was very high once people opened the webpage.
The scans were distributed over 3000+ postcodes across India. This includes 500+ pin codes from the most populous state in India - Uttar Pradesh (with over a 200M population), Maharashtra - home to India’s business capital Mumbai and West Bengal - one of India’s most literate states. Everyone was concerned about fake products. The products ease of use cut across language, literacy, and affluence categories.
Ennoventure’s solution also encouraged users to engage with marketing content once they had completed their authentication journey. In this case it was visual and written material on recipes which included the use of the Masala powder.
Of those who scanned and engaged with the brand pages, 6% continued to go to the recipe pages. This represents a higher percentage of engagement than digital advertisements or other large format mediums. This also came at a high relevance as it was integrated into the purchase and consumption journey.