Checkpoint Systems tackles grey market issue with new RFID solution for the beverage market

In 2019, the illegal alcohol market – known as the grey or parallel market – generated sales of more than $19 billion[1]. With one in four bottles in the wine, champagne and spirits market ending up on the grey market[2], Checkpoint Systems – a global leading provider of source to shopper solutions – is helping tackle the issue by improving the protection and traceability of high-value, high-theft products in the retail sector.

Leveraging its extensive expertise in RF/RFID technology, and experience working with some of the world’s most prestigious drinks brands, Checkpoint Systems has developed a complete RFID solution that provides highly accurate traceability from source to shop.

Comprised of two components – an RFID Box Tunnel and an optional RFID tag or RF-RFID Dual Technology Tag – retailers can gain accurate, reliable, and traceable real-time insights into merchandise at item level.

The solution requires RFID labels to be applied during the production process, where they are scanned and read by the RFID Box Tunnel. The Tunnel controller automatically reads the data in real-time and links individual item tags to both the box and pallet for shipment. Once delivered, staff can then review the origin of selected merchandise by simply rescanning it for authentication.

With the real-time reading of RFID labels, the RFID Tunnel quickly exchanges data to/from a cloud-based traceability platform, providing retailers with instant access to data on the quantity and location of all tagged merchandise.

Furthermore, the advanced design of the RFID Tunnel means it avoids reading the labels of adjacent boxes and is equipped with sensors for the individual detection of boxes. And thanks to advances in RFID labelling capabilities, the solution overcomes known complications

associated with tagging liquids. RF absorbing and shielding materials eliminate interference, enabling every product to be accurately tracked throughout the supply chain.

Globally, this innovative step in the application of RFID allows brands to easily identify products at item level, obtain insights and data on product quantities by destination and at every stage of the supply chain while facilitating the verification and authentication of products at their point of sale (POS).

Speaking about the solution, Flavio Musci, Sales Director Source Tagging, Checkpoint Systems said: “To combat the growing grey market issue, retailers need solutions that deliver increased supply-chain visibility. By knowing where products are at every step of their journey – from source to sale – retailers can fight against this challenge and avoid the erosion of brand equity and value perception.

“By providing retailers with a host of benefits, the new RFID Tunnel not only improves product traceability and fraud containment but enables retail associates to easily verify the origin and destination of the product thanks to the capabilities of RFID. It means retailers can confidently tackle the grey market issue, ensuring they have the right products in the right place. In addition, thanks to improve brand protection and anti-counterfeiting, retailers can improve end consumer engagement and experience.”

Julien Thibult, Sales Director RFID & Source Tagging at Checkpoint Systems France, added: “The RFID Tunnel was recently installed at a leading champagne producer. The company now has complete traceability, ensuring it is equipped to fight against the grey market. It can now track all its products in its distribution networks, gaining full control of its product flow, as well as its brand image.”

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