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As one of the leading potato starch suppliers worldwide Meelunie chose the security label tesa PrioSpot by tesa scribos, enabling wholesalers, retailers and customers to easily distinguish its high quality products from counterfeit merchandises flooding the global market, especially from Asian countries.
The introduction of the tesa PrioSpot security label and a clear communication campaign allowed Meelunie to make significantly steps to reduce the volumes of counterfeit copies of its 150 year old well-known brand « Windmill ».
Although Windmill branded potato starch is sold globally nowadays, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are Meelunie’s most important markets in terms of volume and turnover. Unfortunately it is specifically in those markets where the principle of brand ownership and intellectual property is different compared to the Western world. As a consequence, Meelunie has seen a steady growth of counterfeit material coming into the market over the years, ranging from 30 to 50 percent of the total of the Windmill potato starch volumes in the market, according to estimations made by Meelunie’s key distributors in 2014. Even without reliable data available, if only half of the lowest value was true, this meant a more than significant leakage of business for the Dutch firm.
The tesa scribos solution had been presented and highly recommended to Meelunie by its partner and exclusive supplier of the Windmill bags: Segezha in Denmark. The latter was already applying tesa scribos security labels for another client as a brand protection solution on cement bags, a completely different market yet one that was faced with similar issues regarding the possible damage and harm of counterfeits.
Within a space of only two months, Meelunie had found the right solution, finished negotiations and worked with tesa scribos on a customized security label to suit the needs of the company. The final design was approved in February 2015. The order was signed in March and the labels delivered to the bag manufacturer in June. The first Windmill bags protected with the tesa scribos security label were produced in July 2015 and appeared on the market in August 2015.
tesa PrioSpotund tesa connect & check
The solution chosen by Meelunie to protect its high quality Windmill products and brand image consists of a security label ‘tesa PrioSpot’ on each potato starch bag and an additional online tool - the ‘tesa connect & check’ platform. By scanning the QR code with a Smartphone or going on the website, distributors, resellers, customs officials and end-users can get information on how to confirm further proof points for the authenticity of the product.
When interviewed only nine months after the implementation of the solution, Jan van Vilsteren says that the company has received very positive feedback from the distributors. They have the impression of a higher demand for products with the label, despite the slightly higher price changed for them. As the market gets more and more saturated with products containing the security label, Meelunie has also noticed a steady growing number of scans through the website (tesa connect & check).
“The proof is in the pudding! Considering that in China, everything from water bottles to apples is basically protected with a QR code, we think it is already a very good sign to see so many scans. It means that more and more people have recognized the label and that we have done some good communication on what they should pay attention to, how to check what is real and what is not real”, explains Jan. van Vilsteren. “So we clearly met our objective to create a tool to distinguish the genuine material from the very well copied counterfeit material and to protect the brand value. Over time, we hope to generate a real surge in demand and a gain in market share as well, once counterfeit products have been eliminated. tesa PrioSpot and the tesa connect & check platform have made a real difference for our brand. With the scans, we now have a better idea of where the counterfeits are produced and we are able to take more direct actions in those regions.”
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