Food and beverage industry entrepreneur Scott Mendelsohn has signed on to assist authentication and customer insights platform Orijin Plus to build its premium brand portfolio ahead of launching into international markets later this year.
Mr Mendelsohn, who has significant experience helping food and drink brands develop domestic and export markets and runs his own Natural Raw C label focused on coconut water products, has taken on the role of Head of Strategic Partnerships for the innovative tech company.
“Orijin Plus is a unique offering for exporters because it is multi-pronged,” Mr Mendelsohn said. “For brands wanting to export and those that may already be involved with export markets, Orijin Plus offers a really exciting opportunity because it helps maintain the security and integrity of a product using blockchain technology to track it from its origin to the end consumer.
“Having access to that end user data helps brands to further educate consumers in overseas markets and build loyal followings, and that’s something that no other platform is offering.”
According to Mr Mendelsohn, consumers in overseas markets held Australian produce in high regard due to its clean credentials, but that also created higher risk of fraudulent products entering the market and posing a threat to the Australian provenance story.
The Orijin Plus platform utilises blockchain technology to help trace a product’s journey through the entire supply chain, on to retail shelves and right through to final consumption.
“The platform is designed for both brands looking to enter overseas markets and those that may already be exporting but want greater visibility across the value chain, right through to understanding end consumer behaviour,” Mr Mendelsohn said.
“From a consumer perspective, the products presented through Orijin Plus are premium quality and unique. It’s not about creating competition, but about positioning select brands alongside one another to build and maintain a collaborative environment and tell a quality story.”
Consumers are encouraged to contribute to the story and close the blockchain when opening a product thanks to an associated loyalty program. The program issues consumers who sign up with points that can be exchanged for a range of exclusive rewards.
“Loyalty is a huge thing for consumers,” Mr Mendelsohn said. “If you can engage people early – particularly younger people – and reward them for being loyal, then continue to engage and build the brand story, they’ll develop belief in a brand.
“If you ensure the brand is positioned alongside other premium quality brands, and they’re all part of an ecosystem that carries the credentials of being clean and responsibly sourced, consumers are going to remain engaged because they’ll feel they are doing the right thing socially, and they’re getting all the information they need to make buying quality products a whole lot easier.”
Mr Mendelsohn said the biggest benefit offered to brands was access to detailed consumer data.
“Retailers around the world spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on data to know what consumers are doing,” he said.
“And data is often the missing link for exporters. Orijin Plus gives retailers the ability to see who's buying their products and a whole range of information about demographics and buying preferences. That's a really important tool for brands that are looking for growth and ongoing engagement overseas.”
Mr Mendelsohn is focused on building the premium brand portfolio that Orijin Plus intends launching later this year, first focusing on Singapore.
Orijin Plus has also brought on board specialist strategic public relations, advocacy and government relations advisor Danica Bunch, who is a well-known advocate for the Australian agri-food sectors and will assist Orijin Plus to develop strategic relationships in the leadup to launch.
Orijin Plus founder and director James Williamson said the company’s strategy was to build a high-performance team to help develop relationships with premium brands targeting export markets.
“Scott and Danica will be instrumental in helping Orijin Plus continue to build the right mix of premium brands for each target market,” Mr Williamson said.
“They’ll join our growing team of international experts to ensure Orijin Plus achieves its goals of building and maintain a unique, targeted and competitive edge for premium Australian food and beverage brands.”
Orijin is currently accepting limited expressions of interest to join its multi-brand ecosystem – for more information visit www.orijinplus.com.au.