case study Turning a fraud problem into a customer-engagement tool

CUSTOMER PROFILE

Privately held company with well-known beverage products distributed globally.

Industries: consumer products, food and beverage.

 

ISSUE/BACKGROUND

Food fraud is estimated to cost the global food industry $10-15 billion per year. Some reports estimate that more than 20 percent of the world’s wine and spirits are counterfeit. In some parts of Asia, the numbers are much higher.

Makers of one of the world’s top-selling premium beverages faced a challenge when they realized bottles of their merchandise, which had been refilled with
counterfeit product, began appearing on shelves with the brand’s labels.

This posed a potential consumer-safety and global brand-identity issue. The counterfeit product was also being sold on the gray market, particularly in Asia.

Security seals alone were not addressing the issue.

 

CHALLENGES AND REQUIREMENTS

Security seals alone were not addressing the issue. The premium brand was looking for a more secure solution that would provide full Track&Trace capabilities and give loyal consumers more meaningful reasons to engage with the brand whenever they purchased the product. The brand had another concern: They didn’t want to broadcast that they had a counterfeiting problem as it could be negative for brand image and trust.

 

SOLUTION

We bundled our authentication and serialized marketing offerings to help identify counterfeit and diverted products while cementing customer loyalty.
Key elements of this solution include embedding unique serial numbers (UIDs) in the QR code on a tamper-evident, 3D holographic security label that seals the capsule to the bottle. We also added a URL with the UID to take the consumer to the brand’s story on the company website.

The real-time alerts generated by OPTEL’s Verify Brand® Software enable the brand to track the UID through the first point of shipment and authenticate it at any point in the supply chain: production, distribution, wholesaler and consumer.

Our patented platform provided the brand with these brand-protection and customer-engagement benefits:

  • Data-rich, fact-based reporting for inspectors
  • Web-based and mobile product verification for field investigators (web and mobile) and consumers (mobile)
  • Extension of consumer loyalty program

«We needed visibility throughout the supply chain without
publicizing we had a counterfeiting problem. OPTEL’s Verify
Brand Software was the only serialization solution that enabled
authentication under the guise of a consumer marketing program.»

 

RESULTS
The program was launched successfully in 2017 with initial focus on premium products shipped to Asia. Since its adoption, more than 1,000 bottles have been authenticated in 30 countries. The combination of a tamper-evident holographic label with our powerful software has helped the brand create a more intelligent supply chain and engender loyalty and trust in the brand.

BENEFITS

  • Secure packaging combined with authentication capabilities enables the company to protect its brand and keep consumers safe while building brand trust.
  • The solution provided insight into where problematic gray markets exist.
  • Appealing storytelling creates added value for the brand.
  • The brand has access to valuable market insights, including the end user’s profile and data.

 

 

Related topics:

Fishy business: Fighting fish and seafood fraud with digital traceability systems

Traceability solutions to prevent food and beverage fraud

End-to-end traceability solutions: OPTEL’s Intelligent Supply Chain®

 

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Case Studies & Use cases

Real-world applications of traceability solutions. OPTEL is a multinational traceability solution provider helping Fortune 500 companies tackle food fraud challenges and improve supply chain visibility.