The number of RFID tags used by EU retailers is set to rocket to 400 billion in the next 10 years, despite some users still reporting inadequate read rates.
At the CIES Food Business Forum supply chain conference, Delhaize said it was only getting read rates of 80% on cases in trials, while Nestlé said it had been forced to develop new tags in order for data to be read.
However, Ian Mumby, head of supply chain, logistics and IT for M&S food, said its own read rates were nearing 100%. M&S was now reading one million tags a week and read rates remained unaffected when they were wrapped in aluminium foil, frozen in liquid nitrogen, boiled or washed 500 times.
“One day we will get to the point where the tag is king and will become more important than barcodes,” he added.
Meanwhile, a new report on RFID has forecast that almost all supermarket goods are likely to be tagged in the future and 89% of EU retailers plan to use the technology by next year, said consultancy IDTechEx.
Some 500 million labels will be in use globally next year, while by 2015 more than 400 billion are set to be fitted to goods, creating a £14bn market.
“They will cut costs for brand owners and retailers, and improve customer service through better availability and faster checkouts. This will lead to trillions being used every year,” said MD Raghu Das.
Increasing emphasis on safety and traceability would also lead to uptake, he added.
Rachel Barnes and Beth Brooks
n in a spin Wal-Mart has launched a PR department called Action Alley, in order to respond quickly to any criticism of the retail giant. The department has already been working flat out to spread the word about Wal-Mart’s relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina.
Carrefour is talking to suppliers in France about the possibility of delivery pooling. The CIES Supply Chain conference heard the chain hoped to have a shared delivery system in place within six months to a year.
Swiss manufacturer Hero has bought Milnot Holding Corporation of the US, which owns US babyfood brand Beech-Nut. Hero CEO Stefan Heidenreich said the deal was “100% in line with Hero’s strategy to strengthen the group’s presence outside its western European base”.
PepsiCo arm Frito-Lay plans to roll out its Quaker brand in India within the next couple of months. Currently, the only other multinational producing cereal in India is Kellogg.
News that Germany’s Metro may sell its Praktiker DIY chain has rekindled speculation it may also sell its troubled Real and Extra food chains in order to focus on its more successful operations such as cash and carry. In the second quarter, like-for-like sales in food fell 7%. Tesco was once believed to be lining up a deal for Real, but Wal-Mart is now thought to be the most likely candidate for any takeover activity.
SABMiller has completed the merger of Grupo Empressarial Bavaria, the second-largest brewer in South America, for $7.8bn.
n delivery pool
n beech-nut buy
n indian quaker
n real sale?
n miller merger