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Food distribution cooperative incentivising independent wholesalers and producers to collaboratively build a more efficient and effective supply chain for food service businesses.
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Nassar Hayat and Alex Good


The global food market is an $8 trillion market that is lead by a small number of distribution organisations. Their scale allows them to provide a reliable service at an acceptable price. They leverage their scale not only to attract more customers, but to pressurise and consolidate suppliers. However both food businesses and consumers have found themselves increasingly disconnected from their supply and often getting sub par quality goods.

Foodchain seeks to increase competition and open up the market to allow smaller firms that are able to better balance quality and price to compete with market leaders. We’re incentivising independent food businesses to work together in order to build a better networked and more efficient food distribution system. We’ve seen that there is a large capacity amongst existing actors to grow and manage a distribution system. We’ve also seen that the quality, value, and service of goods improve with shorter supply chains and greater connection between producer and buyers.

In order to build this network we need independent firms to collaborate even if they may be competitive in other respects. It requires an open protocol that all those that subscribe to see superior results whilst also protecting their business from competitors or an independent third party with power to negatively impact their business.

The Foodchain marketplace applies a transaction fee to each transaction that goes via the partner network. The network is owned by its partners and uses the ‘Bushels’ crypto token. Its price is underpinned by network growth, transaction conditions and based on a set of rules designed to incentivise and reward increasingly larger transaction volume.

There are a few key steps in our funnel to achieve adoption.

  1. We pitch partners to join our consortium of suppliers to build a platform owned and governed by its members
  2. Partners ask their customers to order via the digital platform instead of direct
  3. Customers discover other suppliers and spend with them
  4. The network fee collected on these transactions from partner customers is used to buy bushels via our smart contract
  5. Half of the bushels are then rewarded to the account owning partner. The rest is distributed between partners on a pro rata basis to their existing token holdings.


  • Built interface to allow partners to see tokens earned in app
  • Built partner reward smart contract (github repo)


  • Pitched supplier partners to join our consortium. For context; each supplier partner has 50-200 existing customers. Each customer has an average monthly spend of £1,000 on our platform.
  • We successfully on-boarded 12 partners with them agreeing to bring their existing customer relationships onto the platform based on our partnership model. We asked each partner to work with us to onboard 5 customers in this trial phase to be a founding partner.
  • Identifying, onboarding, and activating customers takes work. Thus far we have successfully onboarded 10 customers in total.
  • Now that we have enough partner owned customers we will start driving them to buy from other suppliers.
  • Partners will be rewarded with bushels as those transactions happen and invoices are paid.


Our model has network effects and a virtuous cycle that kicks in as partners and their customers travel through our funnel. It isn’t a quick win of join and get tokens as our tokens represent a share of all future network earnings.

We are very proud of what we’ve achieved in such a short period. The hardest part was getting established suppliers to agree to join as partners and onboard their customers. We have already seen from customers referred by suppliers prior to us starting this programme that on average over a year a customer will spend ~10x with other suppliers.

This approach to building digital marketplaces has been in research and development for a number of years alongside building our platform. Now that we’ve got initial partners and our first smart contract live we’re going to keep pushing to build what we believe can be the protocols that the world’s food supply chains run on. Our next steps are getting partner customers to spend more with other partners and to use that fly wheel to grow our partner and customer base internationally. We are already in talks with established wholesalers in other regions who are keen to take lead on launching partners networks locally.

Comments (1)
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Nassar Hayat
· posted almost 5 years ago

We're happy to report that we had our first 2 partner onboarded customers spend with other suppliers in the Foodchain network this week. That means they completed the funnel that proves our model works and the partners that onboarded the customers are rewarded with our 'Bushels' crypto tokens.

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