NFC Solution Fights Beverage Counterfeiting

Toppan Printing and Amcor are working in partnership to ensure the origin of wines and beverages marketed by their customers, using a Near Field Communication solution.
Published: October 9, 2019

Toppan Printing and Amcor, companies active in the global packaging market, have announced an agreement to collaborate on providing an anticounterfeiting solution for the wine and beverage markets.

Verifying the authenticity of a bottle of wine via an NFC phone

The two companies combined Toppan’s strength in developing high-security Near Field Communication (NFC) label-based technologies with Amcor’s manufacturing and supply capabilities to develop InTact, a wine and beverage capsule with an integrated NFC tag that detects opening or tampering.

InTact’s hands-on testing at a French winery began in late 2016, and the creation of a robust supply chain allowed for large-scale launch and sales. Toppan and Amcor will offer InTact as a high-security solution to counter the damage caused by counterfeiting in the alcohol market.

The InTact capsule incorporates an NFC tag that detects breakage and can be authenticated using a smartphone. The NFC-enabled capsule represents a high-security closure solution to help prevent fraudulent refills and gray-market diversion of original bottles, which has been a growing problem in the wine and beverage industry.

The combination of Toppan’s original antenna structure and a chip with an interrupt-detection integrated circuit enables users to detect capsule breakage or tampering. Because the capsule stores a unique digital certificate to authenticate a bottle, it can also be used for targeted sales promotions, as well as for consumer-engagement campaigns.

The NFC label is discretely integrated within the capsule, allowing alcoholic beverage producers to adopt it with minimal change to the existing filling and packaging process. Most premium alcohol capsules are composed of metal, but because metal tends to interfere with radio waves, Amcor has developed a new capsule with a unique structure that combines metallic and non-metallic films. The capsule allows wine and beverage producers, as well as end consumers, to confirm each bottle’s authenticity with the touch of an NFC-enabled smartphone.

The InTact capsule, developed by Amcor and Toppan, contains an NFC circuit.

According to Nicolas Freynet, Amcor’s general manager, “Customers are increasingly in demand for features such as product authentication, open detection and consumer engagement, and we are working to develop a capsule construction that can incorporate an NFC tag with continuous communication.”

Yoshiyuki Mizuguchi, the general manager for Toppan’s security products, says, “The company has been developing RFID tags for wines and beverages since 2014. In-depth market knowledge and customer insight are needed to enable proposals to ensure that customers can make full use of RFID tags.”