British supermarket Waitrose is rolling out a new app that aims to help it assess and understand the emotional well-being of its farm animals.
The new app enables Waitrose’s field teams to measure the behavior of livestock based on about 20 descriptive words, including being relaxed, tense, playful or anxious. Developed by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the new app is being tested for two years by Waitrose first, before recording and quantifying any observations. The supermarket hopes that this data, which will initially be gathered on cows, calves, pigs, hens, chickens, and ducks, will help it improve its welfare strategy and the lives of its animals beyond just good physical condition.
Though the app is still in development, it does mark a distinct movement making its way across industries of all backgrounds: a greater purpose. As consumers, especially Gen Z, continue to seek out and buy from brands that serve a larger and better purpose than simply making sales, marketers have been stepping up their missions. In addition to a rise in sustainability pledges across the board, haircare label OUAI just introduced its first pet shampoo, while Whole Foods Market recently delved into the relationship between mental health and food. Waitrose itself launched a podcast, “Life on a Plate“, based on the emotional aspects of food earlier this year. Brands are beginning to realize that consumers want them to scratch more than just the surface of often overlooked topics.