FrieslandCampina uses intelligent packaging to tackle infant formula counterfeits in China

Track and trace technology for consumer engagement and authenticity


The high level of counterfeit infant formula in China is a major concern for those supplying this huge market with authentic and carefully regulated products. A dairy product manufacturer, FrieslandCampina, has appointed longstanding AIPIA member, Kezzler, to provide global serialization and track and trace services for its Friso range.

The project involves the application of unique, secure and traceable identities in the form of codes to the brand. By creating a fully connected supply chain from production to consumption, the solution supports confidence in the brand by eliminating counterfeiting concerns as well as enabling FrieslandCampina to engage consumers directly, the company reported.

The codes are generated using Kezzler’s patented encryption technology. For each unit of Friso Gold, Prestige or FrisoMum, a first QR code is located under the can to be used for track and trace purposes. A second QR code will be placed inside the product and provides a channel for direct consumer engagement, including loyalty programs and promotions.

Friso is manufactured in The Netherlands and exported to China. As the product moves through the supply chain, data from upstream production partners, such as dairy farmers, and downstream participants, such as importers and distributors, is associated with each unit using Kezzler´s traceability solution.

We live in a world of complex, global supply chains. To properly ensure food safety, brands need to have visibility on each product from creation through to consumption. Kezzler’s serialization technology helps FrieslandCampina protect both its brands and consumers. Tracking Friso products through the supply chain, storing the associated product information and enabling real-time authentication supports both food safety and consumer confidence,” explained Christine C Akselsen, chief executive officer, Kezzler.

The codes allow consumers to scan the product using their phone to check its authenticity and learn more about their purchase. Kezzler has also integrated the solution with China’s popular WeChat platform, which enables consumers to scan the code using the app.

Commenting on the project, a senior representative of FrieslandCampina said, “Ensuring our consumers can have full confidence in FrieslandCampina brands is paramount. This is why we have adopted Kezzler’s serialization technology, to deliver supply chain visibility for our infant formula brands, as well as providing a way for stakeholders throughout the supply chain to validate their products in real-time.”

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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