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Exclusive - CHINA: Pernod Ricard to use QR codes on all China packaging

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Pernod Ricard will have QR codes on all products in China by next April, just-drinks has learned.

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The digital codes, which consumers can scan with smart phones, will help combat counterfeiting by automatically checking the code against a known database. Consumers will also be able to download information on the product's provenance.

The packaging strategy was revealed by Alister McIntosh, manufacturing director for Chivas Brothers, Pernod's Scotch whisky unit, which is today (17 September) officially opening its new super-premium bottling plant. The plant, in Paisley, near Glasgow, is part of Pernod's new GBP40m (US$62.2m) annual investment in Scotch to increase production.

“There will be a QR code on every Pernod Ricard bottle in China within seven to eight months,” McIntosh said.

He added that alcohol makers must be prepared for to have digital printing on all packaging so consumers know “where every single bottle came from and where it was produced”.

Asked if the QR codes are for anti-counterfeiting or for consumer knowledge, McIntosh said: “It's a duel stream.

“We have always got to be one step ahead. A lot of the packaging that we do is to protect the Chivas brand.”

In a talk at the London International Wine Fair in May, a counterfeiting expert said QR codes are the only sure way to stamp out fakes in the alcohol industry.


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