RFID in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)

RFID enhances consumers’ shopping experience and boosts both vendor and retailer sales. It provides transparency, anti-counterfeiting, optimization and cost savings along the supply chain, tracking pallets, cases and items from the supplier to the consumer.

Key features and benefits

Application benefits

  • Fast detection of counterfeited products
  • Deterrence of parallel trading and gray markets
  • Ensuring that health and safety standards are met
  • Providing ability to void warranty when fake consumables are used in machines

Application features

  • Unique serialized identification
  • Does not require line-of-sight
  • Reading of hundreds of tags/labels at a time 
  • Enables highly automated processes
  • Offers secured on-chip data storage 


Today’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) markets face a number of challenges such as pirated goods, parallel trading, gray market practices. For example changes in buying behavior expose consumers more easily to counterfeit products, outsourced manufacturing sites produce more than agreed quantities, counterfeit products, or products damaged by counterfeited consumables, are returned to brand owners by users who are asking for repair and returns and product labeling and packaging is being tampered with to profit from parallel import (geographical price differences), as well as from dilution, substitution and refilling.

Multiple stakeholders are effected in this process. Brand owners face a loss in revenue and a reduced brand reputation from inferior user experience of counterfeit products. Governments face reduced tax revenues. Society at large can be harmed by products not conform to safety, health or environmental standards.

RFID is the next step in anti-counterfeiting
RFID technology offers a step-up in protection against copying and tampering. For instance, each RFID chip has a unique serial number (TID), which permits mass-serialization. And each unique serial number is factory programmed and locked (cannot be altered), meaning it is tamper resistant. In addition, RFID offers further protection options such as restricted access (PW), User Memory, Tamper Alarm and Data Encryption.

These authentication benefits come on top of all other general benefits that RFID brings such as: elimination line-of-sight necessity, working well in harsh and dirty environments, reading of hundreds of tags/labels at one time and thereby enabling highly automated processes.

RFID for authentication is already here!
Brand owners and governments around the world already started embarking on RFID for counterfeit protection. During 2010, 10s of millions of items were tagged in China alone, without government mandate! This is an ROI driven action. ROI comes from increased tax collection for governments, and for brand owners, it is realized through brand and revenue protection. In cases that involve machines, brand owners also have the option to ensure the warranty applies only when approved consumables have been used throughout the product’s lifetime. The consumers get protected through confirmation of origin, quality, and safety and health standards.

Authentication from the source to the end user
RFID can be used for authentication from the very early in the supply chain all the way up to the consumer. Brand owner inspectors or government officials can check authenticity of product at warehouses, at distribution centers and even on shop floors. And retailers and end users can check authenticity of products at the point-of-sale, when inserting a consumable into their machine or even via an NFC-enabled mobile phones.

NXP's product portfolio is the perfect fit for FMCG

UCODE passive UHF transponder ICs offer high anti-collision rates and long operating distances, and can help protect your brand. Ideal for supply chain management and logistics applications requiring high speed, long range operation.

NFC offers the ultimate in convenience for connecting all types of consumer devices and enables rapid and easy communications. It is the perfect solution for controlling data in our increasingly complex and connected world. NFC is central to NXP‘s vision of a world where everyone can always connect to information, entertainment and services - anytime and anywhere.

ICODE is the industry standard for high-frequency (HF) smart label solutions with billions of ICs in the field and thousands of successful installations. ICODE is a proven technology and supports the ISO 15693 / ISO 18000-3 compliant infrastructure. 

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