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How RFID changes the sake supply chain

Dassai taps into intelligent labeling technology.

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced its “Declaraton of 100 billion RFID Tags for Convenience Stores” in 2017, with the goal of having the five major convenience store chains atach RFID tags to all products by 2025 in order to solve social issues such as labor shortages, and to reduce food loss. RFID has already been adopted by a large percentage of major apparel companies in the world and has become an indispensable technology for each company. However, in non-apparel segments such as the food and consumer goods industries, many companies are hesitant to implement RFID technology due to cost and implementaton concerns.

On the other hand, the sake industry saw its market shrink to one third of its peak in 2018. For sake breweries, it was difcult to diferentate due to their inability to communicate their brand stories and product values. This was compounded by an accompanying decline in sake consumpton, and the distributon of sake through unregulated retail channels. Therefore, it was urgent for breweries to promote new values by utlizing digital technology and to transform their business.

Asahi Shuzo, the brewer of Dassai, one of Japan’s leading brands, endorsed and partcipated in METI’s project to implement RFID technology to achieve end-to-end visibility across their supply chain from manufacturing to sales, while many other companies were struggling to get to grips with RFID.

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