Pernod Ricard to use QR codes to foil counterfeiters

| October 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

France-based producer and distributor of spirits and wines, Pernod Ricard will use QR codes for products packaged in China from April, in a bid to foil counterfeiters. Consumers can scan the digital codes with their smartphones. The digital codes will also help tackle counterfeiting, as they will be checked automatically with a known database. If the code is not recognized, manufacturers can ask consumers where they purchased the products. Later, the police can be brought in.

Consumers and Pernod Ricard will know each other better

Consumers can download information on the origin of Pernod Ricard’s products. They can get information on the production process, which will enhance their impression of the quality of the products.

Alcohol producers should be equipped to have digital printing on all packaging so consumers are aware of “where every single bottle came from and where it was produced,” says Alister McIntosh, manufacturing director, Chivas Brothers- Pernod Ricard’s Scotch whisky unit.

The QR codes will give Pernod Ricard information on its consumers’ purchasing habits, so that they can devise more informed marketing campaigns. When asked if the QR codes are for consumer data or counterfeit prevention, McIntosh says, “It’s a dual stream. We have always got to be one step ahead. A lot of the packaging that we do is to protect the Chivas brand.”

QR codes only way to combat fakes in alcohol industry

The digital codes will be an integral part of the packaging and counterfeiters will not be able to replicate them. The codes are simple to produce and not expensive either. Although QR codes have not been used often to prevent counterfeiting, they could be effective.

QR codes are the only sure way to stamp out fakes in the alcohol industry, according to a counterfeiting expert who spoke at the London International Wine Fair in May. Geert de Vries, from KPMG’s risk services unit says QR codes scanned in stores by consumers can alert manufacturers instantly, about where fakes are being sold.

QR codes “will grow to be enormous,” says de Vries. He went on to say that “the whole illicit trade can be stopped by unique codes.” According to him, the European Union plans to make it compulsory for all alcohol products to have a unique code.

Category: QR codes