Benita Chacko

Gamification will be the future of online shopping: iD Fresh Food's PC Musthafa

The food brand launched a tech-based point of sale ‘Shelf Bay-breaker’ to promote its coffee. 

iD Fresh Food has become synonymous with innovations. After innovating with its products, packaging, marketing and advertising, it has now brought innovation to its display, by introducing a tech-driven point of sale POS), known as the 'Shelf Bay-breaker,' aimed at promoting its coffee products.

Launched in five stores in Bengaluru and Mumbai so far, the motion sensor detects the shopper, illuminates the product with a focus light, voiceover is played which calls out the attention of the shopper, a robotic arm protrudes out towards the shopper which enables him/her to pick the product easily and add in the shopping basket.

In an email interview with PC Musthafa, CEO and co-founder, iD Fresh Food, he explains that the innovation was brought in to capture consumer attention in a large, highly competitive and cluttered market space.

"When we first entered the coffee category in 2018, we realised that the coffee space was crowded with too many players contending for consumer attention. We have been constantly looking to stand out. While the superior quality of the products and innovative packaging give iD Coffee a definite edge, we were keen to do something more. After much deliberation, we decided to leverage a tech solution to present our product to shoppers in busy shopping aisles," he says.

The concept for this came from one of their vendors who suggested, "What if we don’t have a regular sales assistant, but something more striking?" 

iD Fresh took it upon itself to realise this concept and after three to six months of research, it installed voice-enabled POS systems exclusively for their coffee category in select supermarkets in Bengaluru and Mumbai. 

"Cookie-cutter solutions don’t always work. In this case, we were specifically looking for a way to enhance the discoverability of our coffee products. Blending state-of-the-art, tech-based shopper engagement and traditional avenues is the new POS engagement mantra," he adds.

The company is actively exploring further innovations in its product displays, particularly in the chiller space, where most of its products are displayed. "Traditionally, the chiller space has not seen much innovation. We need to add some cool quotient to the refrigerators and chillers that store popular products at retail stores," Musthafa says.

iD Fresh Food is also working on enhancing the online shopping experience for its consumers. It is currently exploring prototypes powered by emerging technologies, and looking to collaborate with quick commerce platforms to offer competitive deals.

"The scope for innovation in the online space is huge, thanks to new technologies that are emerging so rapidly. With the growing promise of Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions, the lines between our digital and physical worlds are blurring. Perhaps, gamification will be the future of online shopping," he says.

iD Fresh Food has a diverse product range, spanning from dosa-idli-vada batter to breads such as paratha and roti, and even dairy products like paneer and curd. The brand has used the new 'Bay-Breaker' exclusively for its coffee products as they are the only items stored in ambient conditions. "The other products need to be stored inside the chiller, and implementing something like this would not be technically feasible as things stand today."

The brand is working on scaling up this innovation and also exploring other avenues for in-store improvements. "At iD Fresh, we are always excited to work on a 2.0 solution," he says.

For iD Fresh, Musthafa says, innovation is often not about cutting-edge technology or billion-dollar investments. It is essentially about solving consumer problems using common sense. So, it doesn't look at investments and returns in purely monetary terms.

"Having said that cost-effectiveness is certainly a key factor. And that helps to scale the project and succeed in the long run," he says.

In every category that iD Fresh Food enters, it constantly innovates with the packaging in an effort to make it more convenient for the consumers - whether it is the ‘squeeze and fry’ vada maker or the naturally packed grated coconut in a coconut. In August, it launched an Instant filter coffee liquid in a pour-to-perfection bottle. Providing a convenient and hassle-free experience, it is designed to resemble a cup and a dabara (filter coffee tumbler) and dispenses the coffee decoction based on the user's desired caffeine strength.

In the past, it has innovated with its products as well. For instance, in paneer, iD Fresh Food doesn’t add citric acid and instead uses lemon, just as it is made at home. It has also created innovation in its advertising creating its first print advertisement to have a 'skip ad' call to action to promote its 'TransparenSee' campaign. The campaign itself is an innovation as it live streams its manufacturing process for consumers. 

iD's innovations
iD's innovations

"At iD Fresh, we foster a work culture where innovation is nurtured and each one of us believes that we can make a difference. As an organisation, innovation is in our DNA. Whether it’s new products, smart packaging, supply chain modernisation, or in-store marketing ideas, we are always working on innovative solutions," he says.

Have news to share? Write to us