data
Nigel Allen, marketing manager – 2D codes & high resolution at Domino

Nigel Allen, marketing manager – 2D codes and high resolution at Domino, talks about the role of variable data printing (VDP) against counterfeit products. In a recent webinar, he explained how digital variable data can help brands protect their products against illicit trade and distribution. He suggested that these codes can also raise consumer awareness of the risks associated with counterfeit and grey-market goods.

VDP enables the printing of unique identifiers such as serial numbers, QR codes, or barcodes on each product. These identifiers can be linked to a central database, allowing for easy verification of authenticity. Each product can be tracked throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing to distribution to point of sale. This traceability helps in identifying and eliminating counterfeit products at various stages.

data
Using VDP in conjunction with mobile apps or online verification platforms, consumers, retailers, and authorities can authenticate products in real-time

“Globalisation and free trade are making it easier than ever for consumers to research and purchase branded products from an ever-growing number of eCommerce retailers. With the cost of living continuing to bite hard, many consumers are shopping around to try and find the lowest-priced items available and falling foul of unauthorized third-party or counterfeit sellers,” Allen states.

The rise of counterfeit and grey market activity

Branded products at lower prices are a common sight, especially in India. Like every city and town, in Delhi, counterfeit products such as clothes, shoes, bags, and other wearables have their bargain markets such as Sarojini Nagar or Nehru Place, which is also said to be a huge market for counterfeit PCs, laptops, and electronic parts.

“Some of these items may be genuine products diverted from official supply chains and sold by unauthorized resellers, perhaps through illicit distribution channels. In such instances, products are imported from countries with a lower selling price to be resold, offering savings against the local retail price on the ‘grey market’ – said to be a 20-billion-euro industry,” according to Allen.

data
Equipping products with unique identifiers within scannable 2D codes, such as QR codes powered by GS1 could be a step forward

Product diversion onto the grey market is often price-driven, and commonly seen in coveted high-end designer brands, luxury goods, electronics, and fashion. This grey market practice can be damaging to the brand holder’s sales efforts and reputation. Many products now found online at a lower price point are also counterfeits, mimicking the look of genuine products, but may be sub-standard in quality. Some of the most common counterfeit goods currently on the marketplace include makeup, skincare products, supplements, and medications.

 

So, how can brands protect themselves and their consumers from product divergence and counterfeiting?

As Allen says, anti-counterfeit packaging is a great place to start – and can be as simple as equipping products with unique identifiers within scannable 2D codes, such as QR codes powered by GS1 (a global system of standards that provide a framework allowing products, services, and information about them to move efficiently and securely). Such codes can be used for product verification, while also providing options for traceability. Using VDP in conjunction with mobile apps or online verification platforms, consumers, retailers, and authorities can authenticate products in real-time by scanning the unique identifiers.

He adds, “Digital print provides a cost-effective way of adding such features onto packaging and labels – either within the factory as part of a late-stage customization process, or via a converter providing an outsourced labeling and packaging service. Businesses already benefiting from cost-effective digital print for labels and packaging can easily implement product verification by adding variable codes to their designs at virtually no additional cost.”

data
Businesses already benefiting from cost-effective digital print for labels and packaging can easily implement product verification by adding variable codes

Today, an increasing number of logistics providers have recognized the significance of protecting their client’s brand reputation, and many are now offering services to uniquely identify and verify products via scannable 2D codes. VDP provides concrete evidence of authenticity, which can support legal actions against counterfeiters. The unique identifiers printed by VDP serve as proof of the legitimate origin of products, aiding in legal enforcement efforts.

“The fight against counterfeits and grey market products is global and reaches every industry – from industrial goods, electronics, and automotive to food and beverage, life sciences, and personal care. Today, with industries and consumers around the world all facing the same economic pinch, the risk is more real than ever – and the industry is starting to take action,” he concludes.

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our Newsletter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here