Launched earlier this year by Hong Kong-based digital transformation agency Integrated Management Systems (IMS), OrgHive is a new app designed to help consumers in China make healthier food choices while supporting organic brands targeting the mainland Chinese market. Powered by blockchain technology, the app offers greater transparency and trust to shoppers, who are increasingly conscious of the safety and provenance of food products.
Today, China represents the fourth largest organic food market in the world and is home to a growing base of health-conscious consumers who are increasingly in search of natural and organic products. Tapping into the trend, IMS has rolled out OrgHive, a digital app that is powered using blockchain and AI technology within its embedded WeChat program, helping Chinese consumers verify the origin of their products before purchasing them.
Currently, the program enables users to scan and verify over 2 billion organic certifications, issued by Certification and Accreditation Administration of China (CNCA) every year. Each organic product listed on the platform is labelled with a unique 17-digit code that enables full traceability from origin to retail.
For international organic and natural companies, the app represents an opportunity to connect with their audience base in mainland China and adapt their marketing strategies to ensure relevance to the local market. Domestic brands, on the other hand, will be able to use the app as an authentication platform that enables them to overcome distrust of counterfeit products, which in turn drives greater conversion to their e-commerce channels.
OrgHive addresses the pain points of customer acquisition in China by enabling brands to reach their target audiences within a transparent framework.Manuela Buerki, Director of Marketing & Strategy at IMS
“We’re launching at a time when all the technology leaders of the world have their eye on China, to see what opportunities and innovations spring from this initiative,” said Anastasios Papadopoulos, CEO of IMS and IMS Digital Ventures, the venture arm behind OrgHive.
“OrgHive addresses the pain points of customer acquisition in China by enabling brands to reach their target audiences within a transparent framework that also provides necessary insight into their customer’s browsing and buying behaviours,” adds Manuela Buerki, director of marketing and strategy at IMS.
Companies can gain access to OrgHive’s platform through membership tiers, depending on their target of engagement with consumers. Users can sign up to seek advice and inspiration from the curated content available on the app, follow brands they are interested in, as well as share product reviews with other members of the community.
According to IMS, the app differentiates itself from foreign digital platforms, as it is “designed to reflect the internet habits of consumers shaped by China’s social commerce landscape,” from the culture of peer-to-peer recommendations to its gamified loyalty reward system.
OrgHive’s offering is also particularly relevant in the wake of the coronavirus, which has further elevated concerns about food origin and health among Chinese consumers who were already prioritising safety of products prior to the pandemic.
China’s organic food market is predicted to surpass US$13 billion in sales by 2024, with an expanding middle class willing to pay a premium for organic products. The interest in organic food is at an all-time high post-Covid.Anastasios Papadopoulos, CEO of IMS
“Our marketing analysts have been using data insights from social intelligence to monitor trends in consumer attitudes towards more balanced lifestyle choices and healthier nutrition and exercise habits,” explained Buerki. “We’ve witnessed a surge in conversations reflecting the need for change.”
Speaking to Green Queen exclusively, Papadopoulos added: “China’s organic food market is predicted to surpass US$13 billion in sales by 2024, with an expanding middle class willing to pay a premium for organic products. The interest in organic food is at an all-time high post-Covid.”
Looking ahead, OrgHive hopes to significantly increase its existing user base of over 3 million and 10 million registered views, with a great portion of this growth to come from the revived interest in wellness, health and safety amid the pandemic. By 2021, the company told Green Queen it is targeting at least US$5 million in a Series A round to fund its planned expansion.
Lead image courtesy of iStock / OrgHive / designed by Sally Ho for Green Queen Media.