Food Engineering

RFID: coming soon to a store near you

June 5, 2003


Inventory management issues and distribution chain efficiency challenges are two of the many factors that will drive the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. Minimization of theft/shrinkage, reduction of labor costs and optimization of inventories are some of the benefits of the technology, according to a new report from BRG Townsend, Inc. and Packaging Strategies entitled RFID: Solutions for the Distribution Chain.

Sodas in bottles and cans, juices and milk are among the target markets for RFID. Although liquid and metal interference is a concern, successful trials on pallets and case loads are currently being conducted.

RFID applications in produce in the US are currently being tested and approximately 2.4 million tags were used on pallets or crates last year. However, UK supermarket chains such as Sainsbury and Marks and Spencer are expected to implement full-scale RFID programs this year. Marks and Spencer expects to use about 3.5 million returnable plastic crates with RFID technology when the program is fully implemented. Sainsbury is expected to use even more.

For more information, call Packaging Strategies at 610-436-4220, ext. 11 or email orders at packstrat.com.