Anti-counterfeiting devices to drive holography growth despite Covid

Packaging authentication devices will stay strong & lucrative

Strong demand for anti-counterfeiting devices to drive holography growth despite Covid

According to a global trade body, the new demand for security and authentication devices to tackle counterfeiting threats caused by the Covid crisis will strengthen the holography market in 2021.

The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) says authentication and track and trace systems, which use holographic technologies, will underpin international efforts by government and law enforcement agencies to bolster overt and covert protection strategies in the next 12 months.

While Asia will continue to offer holograms opportunities in 2021, the IHMA says countries across North America and Europe will also be ramping up investment in technologies to tackle counterfeiting as Covid rages, offering additional opportunities for hologram sales across these regions. “Indeed, recent media reports about the dangers of buying fake products online indicate that the pandemic will contribute towards the push for more security devices,” it said.

According to IHMA, haircare brands, cosmetics, and skincare tools, among other consumer goods, have been hit hard, with reports of a 56% increase in counterfeit products sold online across 700 brand clients in the first six months of this year. Some skincare device companies and haircare brands, for instance, have seen counterfeit sales increased by almost 40%.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that a growing volume of fake medicines are on sale in developing countries, while Interpol has seen an increase in fake medical products. Seizures of fake Covid tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) have been reported by both the US CBP and the World Customs Organization.

This situation is set to continue in the next 12 months, predicts the IHMA, while growth in packaging authentication devices will stay ‘strong and lucrative’ on the back of forecasts that the market for anti-counterfeit pharmaceuticals and cosmetics packaging will reach more than US $10 billion by the end of 2026, growing by almost 9% in the next five years despite the current situation. The overall global market for anti-counterfeit packaging is projected to be worth over US$ 188 billion by 2025.

A poll has revealed that almost 50% of hologram manufacturers and suppliers see an increase in demand from customers, specifiers, and end-users for holographic devices and technologies. This indicates that hologram users will continue to be concerned about the impact of counterfeiting on eCommerce supply chains as the pandemic continues to be felt well into the new year.

The IHMA advises brand owners and product manufacturers to tackle the threats, stepping up plans for investment in authentication and verification technologies to protect brands, profits, and reputations.

IHMA chair, Dr Paul Dunn, said, “Criminals are infiltrating global supply channels, deploying scams and counterfeits to trick people during these difficult times. Furthermore, items such as falsified medicines and drugs pose a terrible threat and can endanger lives.”

“It is clear that in the face of the continued impact of Covid, we can legitimately say brand owners, law enforcement, government and other influencers will continue to push demand for authentication and brand protection devices such as holograms.”

He also added that holography would continue to find new applications in medical surgery, head-up display technologies, and other smart devices, which enrich people’s lives.

Paul Dunn IHMA chairman 1
Paul Dunn, chair of the IHMA, sees growth for holography in 2021

“Display holograms, which can be overlooked and a small sector within the holographic sector, possess growth potential. The growing demand for this type of advanced holography for medical imaging in the healthcare industry, for example, is encouraging and will contribute to driving the sector’s growth in 2021.”

As advocated by the ISO12931 standard, the use of authentication solutions enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from fake products coming from counterfeiting hot spots in Asia and eastern Europe. Even those that carry a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.

The IHMA is made up of more than 90 of the world’s leading hologram companies. Members include the leading producers and converters of holograms for banknote security, anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, packaging, graphics, and other commercial applications around the world, and actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security, and quality standards.

Article issued on behalf of the IHMA by Mitchell Halton Watson

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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