Still from ITC Foods' Ashirvaad video starring Rupali
Still from ITC Foods' Ashirvaad video starring Rupali

ITC’s Aashirvaad Atta has unveiled a new brand campaign titled Likh ke Le Lo, aiming to empower consumers with detailed insights into the quality parameters of its flour and help them make informed choices. An interesting aspect of Aashirvaad Atta’s new intelligent packaging is the insertion of a QR code – scanning it leads to a ‘quality certificate’ that allows consumers to get information about the flour pack, its quality, and other details.

To motivate customers to scan the QR code, Aashirvaad signed actress Rupali Ganguli for a TV campaign, which also runs on YouTube. In the ad, Ganguli is seen checking the ‘quality certificate’ feature using a QR code. The video also contrasts the product with others for which there is no certification of quality.

The initiative by ITC comes at a time when the Indian packaging industry is focussing on research and development for real-time track and trace solutions. Amid a rise in counterfeit products, awareness is needed to influence consumers to buy products with brand protection and the quality certification serves this purpose as well. Technology per se has been an enabler not only for the packaging industry but also among the counterfeiters who make exact replicas of a product. In such a scenario, brand security becomes significantly important as no one can be sure what harmful contents a counterfeit product may contain or indeed the hygienic and ambient conditions they may have passed through.

For a food category which is seen as a commodity, such as flour, wherein a significant number of households are still using unbranded products, the Aashirvaad campaign aims to instill confidence in the minds of consumers and remove doubts. Concerns related to the quality of the wheat, its hygiene factor, how it is ground, and whether it contains any refined wheat flour (maida) in the mix are addressed.

The ITC Foods Ashirvaad Likh Ke Le Lo campaign aims to empower consumers with detailed insights into the quality parameters of flour. Photo ITC Youtube

The QR code and YouTube video are for consumer awareness. In addition the eCommerce platform attaches a stick-on label with a QR code for convenient supply management and detailed information — right from placing the order to receiving it at the doorstep.

Real-time authentication from the cloud

The QR code when scanned redirects to WhatsApp and asks for a unique 8-digit PIN, which is laser-printed in the MRP box at the back of the packaging. The certificate has information about the product, its packaging date, expiry date, the factory where the product and its packaging were manufactured, and the test results of the product. The quality certificate can be seen only if the PIN is authentic. In the case of a counterfeit product, the 8-digit PIN will simply not yield any result. 

Alongside QR codes, several barcodes occupy space in the packaging — from  manufacturing, packaging, logistics right to the end of the supply chain. Apart from supply chain monitoring, like several consumer product companies in the country ITC is also known to use technology to track consumer behaviour at retail touchpoints to recognize consumer behaviour and preferences that are both granular and geo-specific. 

Below the bar codes, the packaging has a designated section at the bottom that informs the buyer about the material used to manufacture the packaging and its treatment post-consumption. The 10 kilogram Aashivaad flexible pouch clearly states that it is made of a PET/LDPE structure and comes under the dry-waste category for disposal. It is an encouragement for the changes in consumer behavior that are bound to come when waste packaging is sorted at source for reaching the correct waste streams, although it may require another video!

Anuj Kumar Rustagi, COO of staples and adjacencies, at ITC Foods, says, “The Likh ke Le Lo campaign symbolizes our unwavering commitment to delivering whole wheat atta of the highest standards. The certificate not only assures consumers of our quality standards at every step but also empowers them with information to evaluate their current choices. We believe this initiative will redefine consumer expectations, setting a new industry benchmark.”

Speaking on the association with Aashirvaad, Rupali Ganguli said, “The Likh Ke Le Lo campaign is yet another innovative approach by Aashirvaad to ensure that consumers make better choices for themselves and their families. I am extremely happy to associate with Aashirvaad in their journey to educate and empower consumers.”

At the PACK.Nxt Conference in Mumbai at the Lalit Hotel on 18 January, leading brand owners and technology suppliers will discuss Brand Protection, Authentication, Supply Chain Tracking, Customer Engagement, the Extended User Responsibility Regulations, and Sustainable and Recyclable Packaging Structures. For more information and registration click here.

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