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RFID and digital ID transforming the food business

The food industry is going through deep, seismic changes driven by the evolution of new technology in both manufacturing and our daily routines. Through the Internet of Things, nearly everything in our lives as consumers is evolving toward less friction and more automation. From cashier-less stores to ordering via smart speaker, time-strapped consumers are gravitating toward shopping that’s less of a chore. In addition, customers want to know what’s in their food, and where exactly it came from, all the way back to the source. Supply chains are now dinner-party conversation topics and the race to deliver convenience is on, one where smarter supply chains must provide transparency and accountability above all.

Enhancing sustainability and customer experience

Digital ID solutions such as RFID dramatically improve inventory management and enable you to see exactly what’s come in, how much product you have, and when it leaves — with 99 percent accuracy. That allows you to automate, to maintain quality and shelf life without compromise, to locate lost products, to redirect what needs to be redirected, and to withdraw only what needs withdrawing. 

The future of food is here

By adding a unique identifier and online connectivity to every item in any inventory, RFID-enabled labels let grocers, restaurants, convenience stores and food suppliers dramatically improve inventory management, efficiency, traceability, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. We design our solutions to meet customers’ most pressing challenges, and continually innovate to make sure we stay a step ahead of the industry’s rapidly changing needs.

  • Inventory management: By providing atomic levels of visibility into your inventory and supply chain, RFID technology enables you to flexibly adapt to the market and better satisfy consumer demands. In particular, RFID solutions can create more advanced models for fulfillment and replenishment. This means replenishing products sooner, and reducing customer dissatisfaction and sales lost from out-of-stocks.
  • Traceability: More consumers than ever expect transparency in their food supply. At the same time, product recalls are a major business risk, with millions of dollars’ worth of product at stake. Our solutions enable you to verify a food item’s journey across the entire supply chain, from its source to its final destination, and pinpoint any trouble spots along the way, minimizing risk and cost.
  • Frictionless shopping: In the swirling sea of frictionless and touchless technologies, RFID tagging emerges as the best choice for grocery retailers of any size. It not only offers an easier, more enjoyable experience for your customers — it also provides powerful advantages for your business.
  • Sustainability: Avoiding overproduction and reducing food waste are growing demands from customers across the globe. RFID tagging can help you reduce waste by as much as 20 percent by aligning your inventory with variable demand across different regions. Data provided by RFID also gives you far greater visibility into expiry, enabling you to discount or otherwise promote soon-to-expire items. You can also monitor temperature-sensitive products during their journey through the supply chain, to help you avoid waste through spoilage.

Follow the journey with connected product cloud: Locally sourced salmon enables products to become direct communication channels with customers by turning them into digital platforms. With’s potential for end-to-end supply chain transparency, customers can see the full journey of a product: From local sourcing and organic certifications to its safe handling from farm to table. Post purchase, brands can engage with customers on a whole new level, giving tips to reduce food waste, establishing brand trust and facilitating recalls. 



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Our products & innovations

Our On-Metal inlays make it possible to extend the benefits of RFID to canned goods and drinks and items in metal foil packaging. These adaptable, innovative tags extend unprecedented inventory visibility down to the last item, in stores and across the entire supply chain.

For difficult-to-tag items, Midas Flagtag® is designed for item-level tagging on diverse surfaces, especially metallic surfaces like foil packaging, combined with excellent performance. Midas Flagtag has an innovative small form factor: the folded part of the tag sticks out of the metal like a flag, and the attached antenna part uses the metal surface as part of the antenna structure to increase the performance of the tag. 

And — at last — retailers can now add the awesome advantages of RFID to microwavable packages. Our breakthrough, award-winning WaveSafe™ tags eliminate the fire risk from microwaving frozen or chilled RFID-labeled foods, while still delivering highly accurate read rates and item tracking. WaveSafe tags deliver all the benefits of RFID — including improved inventory management, lower labor costs, and reduced waste — into the world of chilled or frozen foods and ready meals.

For more available products and solutions, you can explore our product finder here.

So, what does that mean in practice?

Chipotle deploys RFID for traceability and food safety

In the food and restaurant sector food safety along with better supply chain and inventory management becomes ever more critical. To address these market needs, Avery Dennison is leading a number of initiatives to drive digital transformation in this field. One recent example is Chipotle in the US, using serialized RFID case labels to transform inventory management into an automatic, digital function.  

Digital transformation to prevent food waste

Food waste has become an enormous challenge across the global grocery, restaurant and consumer landscape. This report in partnership with Coresight aims to raise awareness while exploring the scope of the issue for food retailers in North America. Read how technology can be used to manage and reduce food waste to benefit retailers and the environment.

Let's talk about food

Our solutions for the food industry are helping brands to manage their global supply chains more effectively. A blockchain-enabled food supply chain, enhanced by IoT devices and AI computing, could move us closer to zero-waste food consumption.

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