Toppan’s smart package with opening detection adopted for Fuding White Tea

Toppan a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, provides smart packages that maintain security and design quality with anti-fraud NFC1 tag functions built into paper-based structures.

Gift box for Fuding White Tea celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of Wu Juenong, the ‘contemporary saint’ of Chinese tea.

One such smart package has been adopted as the gift box for Halfism ‘Fuding White Tea’ celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of Wu Juenong,2 known as the ‘contemporary saint’ of Chinese tea. Halfism is a brand of Chinese tea sold by Shanghai-based Shanghai Kukoushi Culture Development Co., Ltd.(Shanghai Kukoushi). One hundred thousand Fuding White Tea gift boxes will be shipped to regions throughout China.

The Halfism Fuding White Tea gift box and other smart packages will be displayed in the Toppan booth at the 18th 2022 International Internet of Things Exhibition (IOTE 2022), due to be held at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center in China from September 7 through 9, and at the Auto-ID & Communication Expo 2022, which will be held from September 14 to 16 at Tokyo Big Sight in Japan.

Shanghai Kukoushi produces and sells Chinese tea with a view to promoting Chinese and global tea culture and advancing R&D on tea-related technologies. It markets the Halfism tea brand in China and is driving transformation of Chinese-tea-related supply chain management and marketing to differentiate itself from other suppliers and enhance branding. Toppan’s ID authentication platform and smart packages with embedded NFC tags have therefore been adopted because their features and functions align with the transformation of supply chain marketing that the Halfism brand is aiming for.

The smart packages that have been adopted feature built-in NFC tags with an opening detection function, making it possible to identify whether a package has been opened and prevent fraud without impacting external appearance. Consumers can use a smartphone or similar device to read the NFC tag and brands can supply content and product information that varies depending on whether the package has been opened or not.

When consumers touch the ‘Halfism’ logo on the package with a smartphone, they can obtain product information including production address, date, and method; category grade; storage location and conditions; and inspection reports. Additional functions, including distribution of coupons for further purchases, can also be provided.

Part of the NFC communication circuit embedded in the paper-based container has a fragile structure. This means that if the NFC tag is removed from the package, the circuit is broken and the NFC tag itself breaks, preventing the risk of NFC tags being removed from packages and used fraudulently.

Embedding the NFC tag into the package during manufacture means that, in contrast to NFC labels, the graphic design on the package surface is not affected. The required NFC communication performance can also be ensured by selecting suitable packaging materials and circuits at the stage of package design, which assumes the presence of the NFC tag.

In addition to the NFC communication circuit, a circuit that detects disconnection can be positioned to detect opening of the package. NFC tag functions are maintained even if this additional circuit is broken, meaning that scanning with a smartphone or other NFC-enabled device is still possible after a product has been opened. As well as bolstering security, this opening detection function also has benefits for consumer engagement because brands can vary the content and information provided to consumers when they scan the NFC tag based on whether they have opened the product or not.

By taking advantage of Toppan’s ID authentication platform, brand owners can not only manage the supply chain more accurately, but also establish customer touch points, enable DTC and private traffic marketing, and provide customized service programs to end consumers.

“Being satisfied with what you have now, not getting everything, but leaving the other half. Halfism is based in Shanghai and leverages Toppan’s latest NFC technologies to overcome challenges faced by the tea industry, such as falsification of production region, manufacturing process, and vintage,” said Hu Yi Zhe, Shanghai Kukoushi’s president. “The tea itself only constitutes half of the act of enjoying tea. For our Halfism tea, we devote ourselves to ensuring the quality of the tea leaves, which is one half, and the other half of the enjoyment is in the hands of the person drinking it.”