Packaging Innovation
anti counterfeit measures brand packaging
November 3, 2016

Brand packaging: the battle against counterfeiting

The pace of globalization continues to increase, as does the popularity of shopping online. Consequently, the amount of counterfeit brand packaging circulating the world is increasing. Fortunately for the consumer, brands and packaging manufacturers are tirelessly working on traceability systems to stay ahead of the counterfeiting game.

The dire consequences of counterfeiting

Evidently, counterfeit packaging puts brand owners at risk of revenue loss, not to mention reputational damage. Consumers, often looking for a bargain, are duped as well. At best they end up with an inferior product, at worst the consequences are lethal. The dangers of counterfeit pharmaceuticals speak for itself, and the dangers of counterfeit food and beverage products are not to be underestimated either. In 2012, for instance, it was reported that counterfeit vodka diluted with the highly toxic methanol had been distributed to restaurants and took at least thirty lives in the Czech Republic.

Authentication solutions for brand packaging

Often combined with primary packaging modifications that make it impossible to refill the packaging, authentication solutions for brand packaging are threefold.

1.     Overt anti-counterfeiting technologies

This kind of modification is easy to spot, enabling brand owners, distributors and consumers to visually inspect a product’s authenticity in a flash. Security labels or seals, for example, indicate whether a packaging has been opened or tampered with. Other overt anti-counterfeiting technologies frequently used today include optically variable ink (also referred to as colour shift ink) and holographic prints.

2.     Covert anti-counterfeiting technologies

Covert technologies require specialist equipment to be detected and include microscopic tagging, microtext and UV-invisible inks.

3.     Forensic anti-counterfeiting technologies

Biological tracers and molecular markers are only two of the forensic anti-counterfeiting technologies currently used by brands as an extra layer of authentication, requiring specialized laboratory equipment to be spotted. In the case of the pharmaceutical industry, adding diamond dust to drugs and packaging materials as a forensic anti-counterfeiting measure is not uncommon.   Inspired by Packaging Gateway