Counterfeits are on the rise. To protect growth of authentic goods, specifically in terms of annual sales, brands – including fashion ones – are beginning to invest somewhat significantly in anti-counterfeit mechanisms, including coding & printing, Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”), holograms, security labels, and packaging designs. Business intelligence provider XMINNOV has released its latest report, shedding light on the global anti-counterfeit packaging technologies market and predicts that this market will generate revenues of $18.14 billion in 2018 alone.
Already a trillion dollar industry, counterfeiting (the practice of manufacturing, importing/exporting, distributing, selling, or otherwise dealing in goods, often of inferior quality, under a trademark that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from a registered trademark, without the approval or oversight of the registered trademark owner) is one of the fastest growing economic crimes worldwide. In fact, according to the World Customs Organization, clothing and fashion accessories account for a significant share of counterfeiting, with over 10% of world trade in fashion estimated to be counterfeit. The International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition reports that nearly 20% of the counterfeit products seized by Chinese Customs each year are made up of fashion-related items.
In the long-term, XMINNOV anticipates the prospects of anti-counterfeit packaging technologies to remain bright due to an array of innovative and cost-effective anti-counterfeit solutions, which are being launched into the market. Growth will be driven by the increasing publicity of technological solutions for track-and-trace purposes and serialization.
ANTI-COUNTERFEITING IN FASHION
Fashion brands have begun jumping on the anti-counterfeiting bandwagon with increasing frequency. Sure, there are the traditional anti-counterfeiting efforts that brands have relied upon for years, such as allocating resources to bring enforcement efforts in-house, employing anti-counterfeiting professionals to develop educational materials and travel to various ports, and training Chinese Customs officers to spot counterfeits before they enter into commerce.
Innovative technologies, particularly from the fast growing RFID sectors, have enabled brands to adopt global anti-counterfeit packaging technologies programs. Electronic Product Code-enabled RFID allows brand owners to assign a unique serial number to each item, which is then stored in a common database for purposes of tracking shipments and detecting authentic versus counterfeit goods, and also for increasing inventory efficiencies.
RFID technology has advanced quite a bit in recent years: there are now RFID tags that can be woven directly into a textile or fabric product, something that several industrial linen companies in the United Kingdom and France have been testing for a few years now.
But anti-counterfeiting techniques do not stop at RFID. The inclusion of extremely difficult to remove hologram stickers with serial numbers has proven a popular tactic for brands, including (but certainly not limited to) Fendi, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Canada Goose, Rolex, and Moncler. According to eBay’s legal counsel, holograms have proven to be a very effective way to fight fakes because they're extremely difficult to reproduce with significant accuracy.
Along with advancements in anti-counterfeit technologies, tougher government legislations for protecting intellectual properties, as well as stronger collaboration of organizations and manufacturers for protecting brand integrity, will further support the anti-counterfeit packaging technologies market in the developing and emerging markets.
According to XMINNOV’s study, the main driver of the adoption of anti-counterfeiting technologies will be more media attention to specific counterfeit examples and pressure from consumers for protection. But there are additional incentives to adopt such technologies, such as the potential to avoid the high cost of recalls and losses incurred by counterfeit goods. By tracking products to the unit level, companies may employ a more controlled recall methodology, ultimately reducing the number of recalled units, reducing the associated costs, and minimizing unwanted brand exposure.