Intermarché decided to change the recipes for 900 products to reflect the profound need on the part of customers for transparency and their desire to eat better, the aim being to obtain better scores on Yuka. An important announcement in the food retail industry.
Created in January 2017, Yuka already has 11 million users, scanning the barcodes of 3 million food products every day and making it a key app that has become something of a phenomenon. According to an OpinionWay study for Alkemics, 1 in 6 French people has already downloaded the Yuka app to their smartphone, and there are various other apps based on the same principle (System U, C’est Qui le Patron and UFC-Que Choisir have also launched their own versions of Yuka!). No fewer than 20% of customers now use an app designed for consumers when it comes to doing their shopping, which is having a huge impact on the purchases we make.
Intermarché President Thierry Cotillard recently stated on France Inter that “two-thirds of the French people who use Yuka have decided to abandon a particular brand or product over the past twelve months (…) As a distributor, it is essential to be proactive if you are to have the highest-scoring products possible“.
After all, the fear for retailers is that customers will shun their own-brand products in favour of those recommended by the app, since a score of anything less than 50 out of 100 results in the app automatically suggesting a higher-scoring alternative.
Get involved in the ‘food revolution’
Players in the food retail industry found they had to reposition themselves as a result not only of customer behaviour but also food offerings stemming from the e-commerce, short-distribution and specialist sectors, and it is, in part, these players that have brought about and will be affected by the ‘food revolution’. The players concerned have adopted various strategies for supporting this social movement, with some acquiring specialist networks, others developing communication campaigns and special in-store signage and others still launching Yuka-inspired mobile apps.
Intermarché adopts a unique strategy
As the only retailer in the French market with an industrial food output, Intermarché has the means to change its food offering, and that is exactly what it intends to do, changing the recipes for 900 of its own-brand products and in doing so removing 142 potentially harmful additives in an attempt to obtain better scores on the Yuka app. The move, which will see the removal of glutamate, titanium dioxide and magnesium carbonates from the products concerned, sends a strong signal to all those customers keen to access healthier food, not to mention providing an excellent opportunity to rebuild a true relationship of trust with them.
Thierry Strickler, Retail Market Intelligence Lead at Altavia.