How GS1 UK and Orca Scan helped an emerging food brand with a story to tell provide innovative customer experiences and build brand loyalty.

Founded and run by Joyce Gannon, Ntsama’s range of delicious chilli oils, jams and sauces are hand-prepared using natural and 100% vegan-friendly ingredients.

The brand’s story begins with Joyce’s friend Mama Ntsama, an elderly Cameroonian lady who took great pride in her closely guarded chilli oil recipes. She would often make them for friends and family but, despite their popularity, never revealed the secret ingredients that made them taste so great. 

When Mama Ntsama passed away, it appeared her much loved recipes were lost forever. Fuelled by a desire to continue her legacy, Joyce spent months attempting to recreate their unique taste but never quite managed to. 

This all changed in 2009 when she had an extraordinary dream. Mama Ntsama visited Joyce and carefully explained every step of her process. When she awoke, Joyce prepared a fresh batch following this exact recipe which she was delighted to discover tasted exactly like Mama Ntsama’s. 

Joyce believed the dream was a sign that her old friend wanted her to share these delicious oils and sauces with the world. The Ntsama brand was born. 

Building the brand 

Joyce began selling her products at markets and food festivals across the country and found that customers loved hearing the incredible story behind her brand. After being selected to appear on the Channel 4 programme, Aldi’s Next Big Thing, she realised it was time to start reaching a much larger audience. 

She began to sell her products online, both through her own website and on marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy. While this approach had the potential to dramatically increase sales, it lacked the direct, personal interaction that had made her products so popular. 

With a limited resources and a tight budget, large scale advertising and awareness campaigns were not yet an option so Joyce began focusing her efforts on establishing connections with the consumers she could actually reach. 

The challenge 

Joyce knew that if she explained how special her products were and how they could be used, she could build a base of brand enthusiasts who would keep coming back and help spread the word. 

She began by analysing the conversations she was having at her market stall and noticed that she was frequently being asked the same questions again and again; “what is the best way to use this?”, “what is in it?”, “are there any allergens?”, “does it go will with fish?”.

But, with limited space on her packaging, how could she ensure her products were not only getting noticed but also providing consumers with the information they needed? 

Additionally, she didn’t want to continually re-design and print expensive labels with new information, especially when regulatory requirements were constantly changing. 

The Solution

Ntsama needed a digital solution that would bring her brand to life. Something that would enable her to tell her story, engage her consumers and keep them informed in an efficient, engaging and cost-effective way. Simply telling them to visit her website or handing out flyers was not going to be enough. She needed to establish a connection quickly while delivering the best possible experience. 

GS1 UK had recently launched a GS1 powered QR code pilot scheme in collaboration with our partners at Orca Scan. As a GS1 UK member, Ntsama became one of the first brands to participate and together we began implementing a solution that would bring her closer to her customers and improve the sales process. 

Enhancing customer experience

Using GS1 powered QR codes, Joyce was able to instantly connect with her customers via GS1 powered QR codes printed on her packaging. 

At the simple scan of a smart phone, consumers could discover all they needed to know, both during their purchase or at home. 

Each unique GS1 powered QR code would transport users to a Ntsama branded landing page packed with useful information, recipe ideas, nutritional information, links to social media channels and more. The page even featured and Augmented Reality video of Joyce herself, speaking directly to users to welcome them and tell her story. 

Joyce has the ability to continually monitor engagement, consumer behaviours and update her content without ever having to alter her physical packaging.  

This has helped Ntsama increase sales and re-order rates, build brand loyalty, boost engagement and answer hundreds of consumer queries – all through one simple scan.