Remember The Portlandia Skit On Colin The Chicken?

The Lempert Report
January 26, 2018

This goes one better.

This isn’t about one chicken – its about 23 million in China.  The project is called GoGo Chicken and ZhongAn Technology, a tech incubator that already uses blockchain technology to track the lives of organic chickens wants to use facial recognition to better identify each bird during their real-time monitoring. 

It seems like just as with human beings, each chicken face has unique characteristics. 

The company is part of  ZhongAn Online Property & Casualty Insurance, and just like we are trying to do here in the US, they want to target China’s increasingly health-conscious urban consumers. And just like in Portlandia want to know everything they can about the origins of chickens labeled as organic or free-range, and follow the chicken’s life to know how it grew up on the farm and got to their plate. 

These “GoGo Chickens” grow up on organic and free-range farms, with an average life of four to six months, versus about 45 days for factory farmed chicken, according to ZhongAn Tech. 

Chen Wei, chief executive officer for ZhongAn Tech, told the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong  “when you shop and see raw chicken [from us], you can simply check on your smartphone app to know its birthplace, what food it ate and how many steps it walked during its life.” 

Consumers can also buy a baby chick and watch it grow on the farm every day, Chen told the Post. He sees potential demand from an emerging consumption pattern dubbed “farm-based tourism”, which is increasingly popular among young urban professionals who like going to idyllic rural areas on weekend trips, to appreciate famous local foods. 

And that's where facial recognition comes in. He says “we are looking into the possibility of using facial recognition, as it could allow consumers to identify their chickens on monitors.” 

Currently, there are more than 100,000 GoGo Chicken birds and the plan is to increase the total number of such chickens to more than 23 million in three years. 

Looks like China is becoming a “food super power” after all.