How RFID changes the sake supply chain

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Case Studies

How RFID changes the sake supply chain

Asahi Sake Brewery Participates in RFID-Based Supply Chain Visualisation Project.

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) announced its “Declaration of 100 billion RFID Tags for Convenience Stores” in 2017, with the goal of having the five major convenience store chains attach 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 the cost and implementation 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 difficult to differentiate due to their inability to communicate their brand stories and product values. This was compounded by an accompanying decline in sake consumption, and the distribution of sake through unregulated retail channels. Therefore, it was urgent for breweries to promote new values by utilising digital technology and to transform their business. Asahi Shuzo, the brewer of Dassai, one of Japan’s leading brands, endorsed and participated 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.

It was urgent for breweries to improve customer experience by utilising digital technology and to transform their operations.

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