At a time when consumers are questioning their trust of almost every organization that touches their life – from governments to brands[1] - there’s never been a more important time for businesses to seize the moment to build trust between themselves, their retailers and shoppers.

Increasingly knowledgeable consumers and external pressures are seeing the need for brands to up their game to retain their quality, authenticity, and value perception…all of which help to build and retain trust. And this is particularly important in the €359 billion European alcoholic beverages market[2]; the brand integrity that begins at the vineyard or distillery must be continued to the point of purchase…whether online or in-store.

It’s no longer enough to make claims solely through advertising or on labels, or via website ‘About’ tabs. Shoppers expect retailers and brands to underpin claims or statements with absolute knowledge, understanding and proof of where, when and how a product is made.


How can RFID empower businesses?

RFID is capable of seamlessly obtaining digital data via a unique digital identifier embedded in an RFID tag incorporated into labels or packaging. In the case of wine and spirits, RFID-powered software captures valuable data from sensors placed on bottles and cases to monitor every stock-keeping unit (SKU) and shipment as it travels through the supply chain.

This identifying information means individual bottles and full consignments are fully traceable with the data embedded in the RFID tags, stored, processed and analyzed in near real-time.


Why hasn’t RFID been used as a solution to this before now?

Using any radio-frequency-based technology on products containing liquid has always been a challenge due to how the liquid contents affect the radio waves. However, Checkpoint has never been afraid of a challenge: our next-generation digital labels, developed specifically with the wine and spirits markets in mind, now offer complete product visibility…from place of origin, such as the vineyard, to on-shelf.

And it’s fast becoming apparent that other luxury markets whose values rely on brand authenticity and consumer trust are also perfect candidates for track and trace solutions.


What are the benefits of RFID?

  • Digital Identity: A unique digital identity to each bottle in a seamless and fast process
  • Production Visibility: Registers a unique digital identifier offering full visibility of production at bottle level
  • Distribution Channel Control: Ensures your products are present in authorized markets

This ability to track and trace each SKU at every stage of its supply-chain journey offers greater average stock level accuracy – every 3% increase in inventory accuracy, sparks a 1% sales improvement.[3]


Integrity equals trust

The ‘grey market’, the name given to unregulated distribution channels, can damage brand integrity and value – pushing down price perception in the minds of both retailers and shoppers. In the wines and spirits market, industry estimates cite that approximately one in four bottles of wine, Champagne and spirits globally are sold through unregulated channels, equating to some $19bn worth of sales[4]. It's also an issue for brands and retailers in other luxury goods markets[5] where the size of a brand’s grey market can exceed that of official, authorized retailers.

RFID allows producers and retailers to track products through their legitimate supply chain, simultaneously enabling those products to be authenticated and marked with their official, intended destination. At the same time, brands being sold via non-authorized markets or regions can be identified and their supply journey traced, allowing brand owners to take action to close those supply lines.

This item-level visibility also works with Declaration of Origin (DO) serial numbers and labels. RFID tags can be integrated behind the generic back label or as part of the DO label with its serial number before the labels arrive at the production site. RFID readers incorporated into the production line then capture this product and shipment information at each stage of the supply chain journey.

In the future, the information stored on RFID labels might be available directly to shoppers, further helping to differentiate brands with integrity, strong brand values and authentic stories in the minds of consumers.


Checkpoint Systems have years of experience in helping to build brand trust through intelligent solutions. Contact the team today to learn more.





[3] Checkpoint Systems data

[4] Euromonitor Global Alcohol Study