Drop in counterfeit cherries after fingerprinting
Tasmanian cherry producer Reid Fruits says there has been a dramatic drop in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia due to digital fingerprinting.
The Laava SmartFingerprint solution is developed by Laava branded authentication technologists, in conjunction with digital printing specialist Peacock Bros.
Reid Fruits managing director Tim Reid says counterfeiting is a major problem for the company, as well as countless other Australian fresh fruit growers.
“Smart Fingerprint technology provides a level of secure authentication that will make it extremely difficult for counterfeiters to replicate,” he said.
Reid Fruits applied Laava’s patented Smart Fingerprint technology to its cherry boxes for 20 export markets starting in the 2019-20 picking season. The fruit exporter went from thousands of potential counterfeits per season to 10 cases automatically stopped by the Laava service in 2019-20, and only three in 2020-21, a reduction of 60% compared to the previous year.
Laava CEO Gavin Ger says the fact that Reid Fruits has seen a decline in counterfeit product activity demonstrates the direct benefit of Smart Fingerprint technology.
“Not only does this identify instances of fraudulent activity, but counterfeiters quickly realize that their actions will not go unnoticed if they try to copy Reid Fruits packaging to leverage their strong reputation in the marketplace with a product. substitute and substandard,” he says.
During the 2021-22 season, Reid Fruits integrated Smart Fingerprints on more than 400,000 boxes of cherries, destined for 20 global markets. A significant number of these boxes were sent to China, one of the company’s biggest export markets and a destination where the Australian company has historically had significant counterfeiting problems.
“Chinese consumers in particular are aware of the issues around counterfeit products and have a very strong appetite for product information and brand stories that allow them to connect directly with Australian producers,” says Reid.
Laava Smart Fingerprints are digitally printed by Peacock Bros. using state-of-the-art digital label printing and finishing technologies. Smart fingerprints use uniquely generated images for each product and use proprietary optical scanning technology, making them much more secure than a QR code.
When the consumer scans a box of counterfeit Reid Fruits cherries with a counterfeit Laava Smart fingerprint, a “Suspected Counterfeit” message appears on the consumer’s smartphone screen, warning them that the product is not genuine, as well as support information from Reid Fruits.
Additionally, when consumers scan a smart fingerprint, the digital platform also provides space for engaging content that educates shoppers about the product they purchased, as well as the ability to offer special offers and the social media integration.
Peacock Bros. Group Managing Director Ryan McGrath says he’s excited to help Laava disrupt the counterfeiters’ business model with an innovative solution that combines advanced digital printing technologies.
“With consumers and brand owners in the Asia-Pacific region becoming more concerned about authenticity, solutions that validate products and limit counterfeit products in the supply chain will build buyer confidence and help protect brand reputation and integrity,” he said.
“Securing products at the item level provides us with the framework for implementing emerging technologies such as connected packaging solutions that enable advances in consumer engagement (via augmented reality), tracking capabilities and product traceability and sustainability improvements within the supply chain.”
“The Reid Fruits brand is a leader in the premium cherry market in Asia and is now leveraging Laava’s unique combination of brand trust, product traceability and digital storytelling capabilities,” says Ger.
“All of this was made possible cost-effectively and at incredibly high quality thanks to Peacock Bros.’ digital label printing capabilities – and most importantly – it was easy for seasonal Reid Fruits staff to apply to their cartons. existing ones, without changes to business processes and without new technology.”