Italy’s Olive Oil Industry Using NFC to Authenticate Products & Drive Ecommerce
ThinFilm, a Norway NFC and smart label solutions company announced that it is integrating its NFC SpeedTap™ tags in the packaging of Italian olive oil brands to enable product authentication, enhance consumer engagement, and fuel online sales. The growers, each of which produces its oil on farms in Italy’s Tuscany region, will use the NFC technology in combination with an award-winning app called iOlive. Launched in 2014, iOlive has created a comprehensive electronic guide and tracking system that catalogues vital data on more than 150 of Tuscany’s extra virgin olive oils.
The brands working with iOlive and Thinfilm that will utilize the SpeedTap technology in their products include Buonamici, La Ranocchiaia, SPO, and Il Cavallino.
Italy’s olive oil industry has had many fraud scandals, and was recently the focus of a 60 Minutes television segment in which it was alleged that seven of the country’s top brands were passing off inferior oil as extra virgin. The damage caused by the deceit has been tremendous, not only to the industry and brands, but to consumer trust.
In response, iOlive was launched at Agrietour, the national exhibition of agritourism and multifunctional agriculture, held annually in Arezzo, Tuscany. At the event, the ground-breaking iOlive app was named winner of a 2015 “Green Oscar” for innovative ideas in agriculture.
“The olive oil industry is very similar to the wine industry in that each has a rich heritage that is centuries old,” said Pietro Barachini, the founder of iOlive and a professional olive oil taster. “But the wine industry has done a much better job of educating customers on how to evaluate, buy and enjoy wine. That’s why I created iOlive and began working closely with brands in Tuscany. I believe it will do for olive oil consumers what the leading wine apps have done for wine lovers. And I’m very excited about using Thinfilm’s SpeedTap technology to take it to the next level.”
Thinfilm’s SpeedTap tags are thin, flexible devices that integrate with a product’s packaging or label and can be read with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. Each tag is uniquely identifiable and is virtually impossible to clone. Once tapped, the tag wirelessly communicates with the cloud, enabling brands to connect directly with their customers and instantly deliver authentication messaging, product information, and other relevant content.
“The iOlive app digitizes the IOC (International Olive Council) profile sheet for the assessment of olive oil, which is used in 44 countries to certify extra virgin products,” Barachini explained further. “Professional tasters use our platform to digitally capture their evaluations – including sensory analysis – and consumers are able to view that information through the iOlive app. The SpeedTap tags make accessing the data simple, instantaneous, and seamless.” The process has been validated by Agro-Lab, the laboratory arm of PromoFirenze, an agency of the Florence Chamber of Commerce.
“We are very excited to deliver our NFC tags to Tuscany and help brands in this prestigious region protect customers, educate consumers, and grow their businesses,” said Davor Sutija, Thinfilm’s CEO. “The iOlive app is an impressive tool and one that is very much needed anywhere olive oil is produced and enjoyed. We look forward to working with iOlive to introduce the technology to brands throughout Italy and in other countries.”