Cellr to put a cap on billion-dollar counterfeit beverage trade

Australian company Cellr has bottled world-first technology to combat counterfeit wine and IP fraud, which impacts 20 per cent of the circa $350bn global wine market. The innovation, that is embedded within the bottle lid, is a simple yet highly sophisticated solution that allows purchasers to use their mobile phone to confirm product provenance, producer verification, and deliver brand and promotional messaging.

Co-funded by AMGC, part of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative, and developed in conjunction with Portavin and South West Development, the new product is expected to result in the creation of up-to 22 roles across engineering, electronic engineering, sales, marketing and administration jobs in Western Australia. In total, the company expects upwards of $10million in revenue to be generated via the new technology.

Cellr’s innovative technology leverages Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to create value throughout the global supply chain from production to consumer, in the areas of track-and-trace, automated inventory management and product authentication. It also offers a low-cost solution to tackle product tampering and replaces older manual stock management with a low-cost automated solution.

Beyond the anti-tamper and provenance capabilities, Cellr has developed an end-user, customer engagement capability via a downloadable app that will allow consumers to scan a product from anywhere in the world and engage with brand-developed content.

The simplicity of the Cellr platform allows brands to instantaneously support a consumer promotion, globally or locally, by simply activating a set of previously recorded NFC chips and linking them to online promotional content. The system does away with the need to produce custom codes, bespoke packaging and lead-times to prepare for a promotional campaign.

Director and co-founder of Cellr, Chris Braine, said, “by creating tech-enabled lids that embed themselves directly into the bottling line, we give wine producers a handsfree solution for creating “digital birth certificates” that can be retrieved by the consumer whenever, wherever, while taking away the guessing game of a product’s authenticity.”

“The technology is simple to use, simple to install and tackles a growing issue, not just in the wine sector. As a marketing platform, the ability for brands to engage directly with consumers and serve them content, competitions or product support is invaluable,” said Mr Braine.

“The global supply chain will be able to utilise the advanced inventory management features to reduce manual effort via automated stock control,” said Mick Mickel, Director and co-founder.

While the engagement platform will be free for consumers, producers and the supply chain will pay a small fee to unlock all the features and functionality these lids create. The list of features will be ever-changing as the team at Cellr continues to grow the network with new producers from around the globe.

Jens Goennemann, Managing Director of AMGC said, “Cellr’s smart bottle caps are further evidence of advanced technologies enabling manufacturers to turn challenges into opportunities. The ability to protect your product and brand, yet engage with consumers at the point of purchase is a win-win for all.”

“Cellr’s technology has endless applications across a broad range of industries beyond beverages, allowing end-users to verify the product, seek further information or, in time, be linked to supporting information for the product they are purchasing – it’s proof that Australia can, and continues to manufacture, world-leading solutions,” said Goennemann.