Wales

Could the Digital Welsh Food Map Show How Tech Can Boost the Traditional?

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In a bid to celebrate local Welsh producers and share the love for Welsh food and drink, a special digital food and drink campaign has been launched. Shoppers have been urged to “Keep it Local, Keep it Welsh” this winter to boost the local economy and place the spotlight on Welsh food producers. Is this a sign of the growing benefits of partnering the digital with the traditional?

Digital creates visibility to help forge local connections

The Cywain Producers’ Map has been devised to help shoppers locate specific Welsh products and to discover new producers in their local area. With 250 Welsh food and drink businesses involved, spanning breakfast to after-dinner drinks, the campaign hopes to reinvigorate people’s love for Welsh cuisine while also doing good. The map launched in May and follows consumer trends of wanting to shop with independent producers and those they can build relationships with in their communities.

The digital map represents the future of how customers will engage with the food and drink they consume. To compete with the growing range of takeaway products and the ease at which one can call upon Uber Eats, Just Eat or Deliveroo, the map aims to help people aid smaller businesses. Taking a digital spin on a farmers’ market helps to deliver to customers a new experience and presents a tangible way of engaging with smaller, local businesses.

The internet isn’t just a place to share funny videos and pile on politicians. It can be a useful resource in harnessing digital capabilities to solve everyday problems. One of these is through helping people discover things they might not have previously known about. Industries can find new audiences and smaller businesses can find new customers. Instead of rejecting the inevitable push of digital, by leaning into it, traditional companies can find new ways of operating that could be better.

Existing digital success stories that Wales can follow

Traditional industries have been taking advantage of the scope of the internet for some time now. For example, most people consume some of their news online or through social media. Traditional newspapers have pivoted to take advantage of the benefits of being online and to combat the drawbacks of the dearth of print readers. By capitalising on online sites, including with digital ads, these local media outlets can stay in business and remain relevant.

Social media is perhaps the best example of how traditional methods of communication have been updated and integrated seamlessly into our lives. We can talk effortlessly with those in Australia, which even 20 years ago would’ve meant expensive phone calls or lengthy post delays. Video calling and instant messaging help to keep us in contact and we don’t even realise we’re doing something that was alien just a few decades ago.

In the entertainment sector, many popular traditional games have been taken online and so revolutionised. Take, for example, the growing trend for bingo sites, which take the standard gameplay and improve it with the benefits of digital technology. Players can choose from a variety of different games, many of which have added welcome bonuses such as free bingo tickets or a bonus percentage depending on how much a player deposits. The ease of access and enticing offer encourages those new to the industry to get involved.

The future is digital

Using digital means to deliver something traditional to people seems to be a theme of the modern era. Whether this is for communication purposes, for entertainment, or to boost small businesses, a merging of the digital and the traditional can end up being fruitful.

Rhys Gregory
Editor of Wales247.co.uk

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