Pimp My Food Truck: RFID-Enabling the 21st Century Chuckwagon

Posted by Ken Lynch on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 02:51 PM

Tags: RFID, Supply Chain, Food & Beverage, Inventory Management, Vehicle Tracking, Point of Sale

foodtruckIf you work or live in an urban area, you’ve most likely seen the trendy food trucks parked at busy intersections, parks and plazas, serving up cupcakes, lobster rolls and everything in between. (For those who’ve never partaken, here’s a sneak peek video into how they operate)

Mobile munching, though almost unrecognizable from the days of “chuckwagons,” has come back in full force for foodies all across America who enjoy the convenience of curb-side cuisine.   In fact, 91% of those familiar with mobile food trucks say that the trend is here to stay (see Infographic).  We see this every day outside our office in Kendall Square, with several food trucks setting up shop.  And just a couple of weeks ago Kendall Square hosted the Food Truck Festival of New England.   The trend has gotten so hot that Kickstarter – the social funding service – has gotten behind it.   Mei Mei, a Boston-based food truck business recently raised $35,000 on the e-fundraising site to finance turning their business into a brick and mortar restaurant.

Annual revenue from food trucks was $1.2 billion dollars in 2009 and there has been significant growth since, most of which could be attributed to customer loyalty. Locals are often lured in to trying food trucks for a few simple reasons 1) convenience 2) community 3) cuisine and 4) competition. Could food truck operators increase customer loyalty by implementing RFID?

1) Convenience: Part of the appeal in mobile dining is the convenience that it offers. Whether it’s across from the office or parked near a popular tourist attraction, a food truck provides a quick and easy meal on the go. In addition to geographic convenience, food trucks also offer a financial convenience with mobile payment options. While it may not be main stream yet, types of RFID technologies can allow for easy, on-the-go payment for patrons who may not have cash handy. Mobile-payment is not only convenient for the consumer, but also allows the business owner to track spending trends and implement a rewards program for their most loyal customers. As “the internet of things” continues to grow and expand, especially into the retail environment, the food truck industry is no exception. The Point-of-sale iPads that have been installed in trucks are streamlining payment, consolidating physical equipment and supporting franchises that also operate out of brick and mortar shops.

2) Community:  One unique aspect about food trucks is the sense of community they create. Aside from the physical communities that support these small business owners, the virtual communities online provide valuable promotion as well. Food truck owners rely heavily on word of mouth to grow their business. Similar to Cadbury and dwinQ’s social media deployment at the Olympics, RFID technology could also allow patrons to check-in to the specific food truck and notify friends and social media followers of their location, ultimately acting as a virtual word of mouth.   

3) Cuisine: It wouldn’t be a food truck without the food! The culinary treats that come from these mobile kitchens are just as delicious as their brick and mortar counterparts.  But one difference is they require a different kind of logistical planning. Fresh ingredients, prepared daily are a key part in the operational aspect of a food truck. Much of their product has to be prepared in advance in a physical location and then loaded into the truck every day.  With space at such a premium, ensuring that the truck is equipped with just the right inventory to last the day is crucial in ensuring profits in a business with notoriously arbitrary and often razor thin margins.  Managing inventory closely is another opportunity where RFID technology can make a big impact in food quality and customer satisfaction.   

4) Competition: The restaurant business is tough and highly competitive, and it’s no different with food trucks.   The cooking reality TV competitions and many cook-off competitions that happen around the country draw in hundreds of thousands of viewers and patrons respectively.  It’s the same in the food truck business. Every spring, Boston’s annual Food Truck Throwdown brings various vendors together to compete for coveted crowning as the best. Not a Beantown local? According to The Daily Meal, these trucks beat out thousands of others to be crowned the Top Ten Food Trucks in America

Ultimately, food trucks have changed the l landscape of dining options all over the country and continue to draw crowds. While the technology that drives the businesses may be “behind the scenes,” it surely plays a role in what makes them a success. From social media to location services, there are opportunities for food trucks to tap into RFID as a resource to grow and sustain their business.

The question is, who is going to be the first to pimp their food truck with these high-tech solutions?

 

Photo credit: David Stewart/Boston.com

Reducing Food Waste with RFID

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, May 03, 2012 @ 10:43 AM

Tags: RFID, Food & Beverage, Waste Management

Save FoodYou could feed a small country with the food you threw away! How many of you heard that growing up from your parents? Well, maybe they were onto something.

The cost of food these days makes it much more difficult for many to buy lunch at work when they have cold cuts, lettuce and tomatoes at home that will go bad if not used to make a sandwich. When going out to eat, we can justify the large portions by knowing we can take a doggie bag home, but half the time it gets forgotten in the restaurant or brought home and tossed in the trash after a few days.

South Korea may have found the next best thing; deterring people from wasting food. An RFID-based system charges people for the food they throw away.

As reported by Earth911.com, SK Telecom has developed bins that will weigh food that is thrown out. Using RFID, the bins will calculate a disposal fee based on the exact weight, which will then be debited from the person’s public transportation card or billed to a credit card.

It works in much the same way an RFID-enabled check out at a grocery store might work.  The person taps the bin where there is a reader waiting to read an RFID-enabled card. The lid opens, and the person can throw out their unwanted leftovers. The bin then weighs the food waste and informs the person of the subsequent fee.

According to a city government official, they expect their approach (which includes a home kitchen system) to help reduce 670 tons of food waste per day, cut the total amount of refuse by 20 percent by 2014, contributing to savings of 19.5 billion won (over $17M USD) per year.

Good idea, don't you think? Anything to help reduce waste of any kind is A OK in our book. I’d like to enforce a similar practice in my house. I wouldn’t necessarily charge my children, but having them think twice about over-serving themselves and throwing away food is a good thing.

Once the mindset is established, we might start to incorporate this thinking into our decision-making process. At a restaurant, we may decide that while it might be nice to order an appetizer, entre and dessert, while sampling the bread, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be able to eat it all. We may make better decisions with waste reduction in mind, and skip the appetizer in favor of the bread.

This is a great example of RFID helping to Reduce. We’ve also seen how RFID can help Reuse. We’ll take it upon ourselves to find a successful use for RFID in Recycling and report back.

Where Does Your Food Come From? RFID Knows.

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 10:05 AM

Tags: RFID, Sensors, Food Safety, Agriculture, Supply Chain, Cold Chain, Food & Beverage

Each year about 1 in 6 people in the United States gets sick from eating contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Salmonella is responsible for many of the reported outbreaks and causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other type of germ found in food. While E. Coli infections have been drastically reduced, there has been no reduction in people getting sick from Salmonella.

One way to cut down on illness caused by Salmonella is to apply lessons learned from past outbreaks as depicted below.

Farm Table

View larger version of the diagram (source: CDC)

Efforts to educate about prevention can be supplemented by enhancing the traceability of food shipments within the supply chain. The Food Safety Modernization Act calls for the FDA to focus on new food traceability rules to prevent contamination.

A report issued recenlty by ABI Research, “RFID-enabled Food Safety and Traceability Systems,”  reviews the Food Safety Modernization Act and provides forecasts for the use of RFID-enabled devices in cold chain applications. RFID allows the food industry to trace food items and record environmental conditions throughout the entire supply chain.

Sensors in RFID tags monitor the temperature and humidity of products. They can detect if the temperature for a specific food item goes above or below the ideal temperature, at any given time, and record that detail. Tags can be used on anything in the supply chain from the farms, to slaughterhouses, to pallets, to shipping containers, to grocery stores. Even the cows and pigs can be tagged.

You may remember the Orange Juice recall from this past January. CNNMoney noted that if there is wide adoption of a traceability solution in the industry, it could stop the contaminated food from being put onto store shelves in the first place, and help stop outbreaks before they start.

Aside from preventing food borne illnesses, ABI Research also points out that the information delivered by an RFID traceability solution could have a significant impact on the $35 billion a year in wasted produce. With the environment detail captured by the RFID readers during the supply chain, a grocer or manufacturer can determine precisely which containers were exposed to temperatures outside of the ideal range, and discard only those containers instead of discarding the entire shipment.

The prevention of waste or food borne illness is enough to warrant an RFID food traceability mandate in my book. Being able to impact both? I’ll let you do the math.

Are RFID Tags on the Ropes?

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, Oct 21, 2010 @ 01:53 PM

Tags: RFID, Agriculture, Food & Beverage

RFID Used to Improve Mussel Cultivation

Mussel RopesWithout a crystal ball, cultivating mussels is like a shell game (pun intended) where each one looks like the other and in order to win you have to remember which one was where at which time. Suffice it to say, that’s why the house (or the guy on the street) usually wins. Mussel cultivators need to better their odds because this is their livelihood, not a game.

In order to process mussels for the best sale and retail consumption, you would need to know how long each batch of mussels has been on each rope. This becomes trickier when the ropes move or get lost in a storm.

Mussel company Concepción Suárez Fernández, worked with the University of Vigo in Galicia, Spain, to devise a way to use passive RFID tags to track the ropes. The cultivation begins with the seeding of mussels on to the ropes which hang on a platform in the water. There they mature until harvest time. But how do the cultivators know when it’s harvest time when platforms can be more than 1,000 square feet, hundreds of ropes have been hung at different times, and oh yeah, like the shell game, they all look the same?

"We need a way to distinguish them. If you forget some of the ropes, the mussels can grow too big and fall to the sea floor." That was the sentiment of Jorge Nuñez, an owner of Concepción Suárez Fernández, which led to the introduction of RFID to Aquaculture.

Each rope is fitted with an RFID tag that is UHF and Gen2 compliant. The company is using tags from Premo Group, Confidex and Intermec Technologies that were developed to withstand the extreme conditions that the sea can bring like very cold temperatures, lots of moisture and rough motion due to storms.

A software program tracks all of the information about the mussels on that rope, obtained by the RFID tags. Now, cultivators can know when it’s the best time for mussels to be harvested. Needless to say, the enhanced process can increase revenue because fewer mussels are lost and fewer are harvested at the wrong time. As usual, with an RFID deployment, it would also seem that less time is spent on contingency planning and manually chasing down information.

As a consumer, I’m excited because who wouldn’t want to go to the store knowing they’re always going to get the best batch of mussels? What’s your favorite food whose supply and quality you’d like to see improved with RFID?

[Image credit: Inverlussa Mussel Farm]

RFID and the Beverage Market (part 5)

Posted by Ken Lynch on Fri, Aug 27, 2010 @ 10:09 AM

Tags: RFID, Food & Beverage, Hospitality

Serving Up Soft Drinks, Freestyle

In this week’s posts we’ve covered a variety of topics related to the application of RFID in the beverage market, including beverage supply chain optimization, product authentication, inventory management and patron identification, but there’s more.  Coca-Cola recently began testing a new drink dispenser called Coca-Cola Freestyle™ that they hope will reinvent the market. This may be one of the most innovative uses of RFID and other technologies that the beverage market has seen in a while.

Innovation - Freestyle

If microdispensing and PurePour aren’t terms you are familiar with now, they will be soon.  These are but just a couple of the new technologies used in the Coca Cola Freestyle – a drink dispenser that also includes a curved metal enclosure created by the designers of Ferrari race cars and the latest in touch-screen menu technology. 

Coke FreestyleUsing technologies similar to those used to deliver precise doses of drugs, a single Coca Cola Freestyle can dispense over 100 different beverages.  Through this microdosing process, drink ingredients are blended with water and sweetener and then dispensed from the machine.  Taking innovation a step further, the 30+ 46 ounce flavor cartridges in each Freestyle machine are RFID enabled, allowing Freestyle to detect its supply levels and transmit data back to Coca-Cola and the dispenser owner for re-stocking, and to report which brands of drinks are being consumed and when.

With 1.6 billion servings of Coke sold worldwide every day, one of the most interesting aspects of this system is the massive amount of real-time data it will be providing to Coca-Cola to help assess consumption trends and to improve test marketing activities.  For a view of what a dispenser analytics dashboard might look like, check out these images from SmartData Collective.

‘Like’ Coke?

The way that beverage manufacturers and retailers are connecting with their customers is also changing.  High-cost broadcast and print advertising is giving way to social networks and other methods of permission marketing to extend reach and deliver personalized messaging.

As mentioned in our post RFID and Social Networks, Coca-Cola and handful of companies including Facebook, recently teamed to host an event that leveraged RFID to bring the digital ‘Like’ to the physical world.  With over 500 million active users on Facebook and nearly 11 million who “Like’ Coke’s Facebook business page, a new way for brand owners like Coke to market to their customers is beginning to rapidly emerge.  Will a combination of RFID enabled displays, wristbands like those used at the Coca-Cola Village, and mobile devices help retailers, restaurants, theme parks, museums, and even brand owners, take “Like’ marketing beyond its virtual confines even further to the physical world?

Coke also has a Freestyle Facebook page that lists its test locations, drink flavors, and, of course, Wall comments from many satisfied customers.  This page also has many requests for Freestyle to be sent to "my" location - building awareness and demand from its virtual community of 'Friends'.  Described by Coke:

It's the ultimate beverage experience.

It's about choice.

It's the perfect pour.

It's 106 brands in one special place just for you.

Thirsty?

RFID and the Beverage Market (part 4)

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 @ 12:36 PM

Tags: RFID, RFID Wristbands, Food & Beverage, Hospitality

Combating Underage Drinking and Improving Sales with Patron ID and Point-of-Sale Wristbands

Fake IDThe days of recreating the background of a state driver’s license in your garage, taking a cheesy picture of yourself in front of it, slipping it into generic plastic enclosure and sealing it with your mom’s iron are over.  Now I’m not saying that I ever did that, but I’m sure others tried and were successful in passing off a fake ID to go somewhere or do something they weren’t old enough to do.

Regardless of the method used to produce them, trying to enter a bar or purchase alcohol are probably some of the most common uses of fake IDs.  The debate over the legal drinking age has gone on for years.  Regardless of the position that you take, establishments that serve alcoholic beverages must comply with the law or face stiff penalties.  Making compliance difficult, some young people are willing to take the risk of using a fake ID despite the consequences - including driver’s license suspension, fines and higher car insurance rates.  As a result, simply checking a person’s ID to provide access to a bar or an event where alcohol is being served is sometimes not enough. 

RFID Wristbands for Patron Identification

With over 50 years of experience developing wristband ID systems and nearly a decade deploying RFID systems, California-based Precision Dynamics helps event organizers and venue owners take ID checking to the next level.  For positive age identification and verification, the Precision Dymamics AgeBand® system scans the magnetic stripe or 2-dimensional bar code of an individual’s credentials (typically a driver’s license or other ID card) and prints their name and other pertinent information on a non-transferable RFID-enabled wristband.  If they are 21 years of age or older, the system also prints “Age ID Verified 21” on the wristband.  In addition to confirming the age data on a person’s credentials and providing visible verification for venues that serve alcohol, use of the AgeBand system provides a technology advantage over mean looking bouncers – often scaring away those using fake IDs before they try to enter an event.

In addition to being used to verify patron ages, AgeBands are made of thermal material to support point of sale applications.  When used in conjunction with a specialized kiosk, the system allows patrons to load cash credit onto their RFID wristbands to support instant, automated purchases at concession stands and other retail areas.

If it’s a safe event environment and increased sales that you are after, you may want to check out Precision Dynamics SuperFest case study.  The write-up details how the system helped increase throughput at concession stands, reduce long lines, and allowed the venue to replace expensive stand-alone POS units – resulting in a 15% increase in revenues.

We welcome your comments below.

RFID and the Beverage Market (part 3)

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 @ 07:14 AM

Tags: RFID, Food & Beverage, Hospitality

Beverage Dispensing – Managing the Perfect Pour

Historical records track the consumption of beer and wine back 5,000 years.  Liquor distillation began about 2,000 years ago and today, liquor is one of the world’s most traded commodities.  Central to the liquor industry are the millions of bars and restaurants that serve millions of liters of drinks each day

Key to the successful management of a bar or restaurant is being able to measure its liquor pour cost - the bar’s cost of goods sold as a percentage of total sales.  For those keeping score, if a bar of restaurant has a drink product that cost $2, and sells it for $10, then the pour cost is 20%.  In order to calculate an accurate pour cost and determine how to factor it into their overall profitability measures, restaurant and bar owners need to contend with inventory shrinkage, which is a big problem in this massive service industry.  More specifically, bar operations often lose profits due to careless draft beer pouring by bartenders (the horror - around 10-15% of tap beer goes straight down the drain in most pubs), over-pouring liquor shots and product theft.  In fact, industry research reports that the average bar can be losing more than 25 percent of their liquor, wine and beer profits through inventory mismanagement.

Gordon's, Vodka, Kina Lillet. Add RFID. Shaken, Not Stirred.

It may seem a little like an 007 gadget from the Q Branch, but, believe it or not, RFID is being integrated into liquor pour systems to help establishments measure every milliliter of alcohol poured to customers.

LasVegas.netLasVegas.Net Liquor Inventory System, for example, offers replacement RFID pour spouts, active antennas and browser-based software that allows bar and restaurant owners and managers to record and review drink pour data – down to the last drop.  With this system an RFID Spout is assigned to each bottle in the bar and every drink dispensed is automatically tracked in real-time.  The Liquorinventory.Net System can generate customized real-time reporting, giving bar owners a detailed view into their establishment's liquor usage to help determine open stock inventory, bartender over/under pours, employee theft, and resolve differences between reported dispensed volume and point of sale records.

Similarly, Northern California based Capton, a leading developer of RFID-based business control solutions for the hospitality market, offers a solution called Beverage Tracker.  Beverage Tracker utilize patented RFID-enabled pour spouts that monitor liquor use and wirelessly transmit information on every ounce that is free poured.  In a recently published case study, Caption details how the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island in San Diego, CA produced an immediate 3.6 point drop in liquor costs by using Beverage Tracker – an improvement that paid for the system in only 3 months.

The first cocktail party ever thrown was by Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr. of St. Louis, Missouri, in May 1917.  50 guests were invited to the Walsh mansion at noon on a Sunday for a one hour pre-lunch party.  Surely times were different and RFID-enabled pour spouts were not a topic of conversation at the Walsh house.  But the next time you are out enjoying your favorite cocktail, take a look at the pour spout of the liquor bottle at the bar.  Is RFID is helping manage the perfect pour?

[Image: LiquorInventory.Net]

RFID and the Beverage Market (part 2)

Posted by Ken Lynch on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 @ 12:14 PM

Tags: ePedigree, RFID, Food & Beverage

RFID for Wine Production and Anti-Counterfeiting

In 1985, a bottle of Chateau Lafite, 1787 sold for $160,000 at Christie’s London – the highest price on record for a single bottle of wine.  Apparently the bottle bears Thomas Jefferson’s initials etched into the glass.  At this price, you can bet the buyer went to great lengths to make sure the bottle and the wine were the real McCoy. 

WineFor as long as wine has been made, it has been fraudulently manipulated and counterfeited.  As far back as 1820, German chemist Friedrich Accum noted that wine was one of the commodities most at risk for being misrepresented.  Penalties for producing and distributing fraudulent or “corrupt” wine have been severe.  During the Middle Ages, if a merchant was found selling fraudulent wine, he was forced to drink all of it.  In medieval Germany, the penalty for selling fraudulent wine ranged from branding to beating to death by hanging.

Wine fraud continues, sometimes with deadly consequences for consumers.  In 1986, twenty-tree people died because a winemaker in Italy blended toxic amounts of methanol into his wine to increase its alcohol content.  The less lethal practice of illegal blending also continues, with several wine producers and shippers recently found guilty of blending inexpensive wine with their pricey counterparts to inflate production and increase profit.

Given this long and sometimes lethal history of wine fraud, it should be no surprise that the legitimate wine producers are constantly seeking ways to cambat fraudulent wine production and distribution.  Enter RFID. 

ePedigree

In 2008, eProvenance introduced a bottle seal and authentication system that uses a combination of RFID technologies to create the electronic pedigree for each bottle of wine produced.  Semi-active RFID tags are used to log temperature throughout each bottle’s journey from production to distribution and ultimately to the point of sale.  Passive RFID tags are also attached to the base of each bottle to automate inventory management and discourage theft.  Data collected from these tags enters the eProvenance Online Monitoring System (OMS), providing users with a global start-to-finish view of product authenticity.

Put a (RFID) Cork in It

Taking innovation into the bottle, Lab-Id, has patented an RFID-enabled wine cork that can be encoded with data about the wine including type of grape, bottling date, and alcohol content.  Once in the bottle, SmartCorq can be used by wine producers to improve storage and distribution processes.  Distributors and retailers can read the SmartCorq to determine specific details about each wine bottle, and consumers can be presented information about the wine’s producer and vintage through interaction with a smart retail display.

RFID Labeling

As reported earlier this year, the Tenuta dell'Ornellaia estate in Tuscany plans to implement an RFID system to track the distribution of its wines in order to prevent black market activity and guarantee of authenticity.  The solution includes RFID tags embedded into the back label of the wine bottle, with RFID read points at labeling application machines and warehouse gates.  This system records data from each bottle into a dispatch and customer data base.

Beyond fraud prevention systems, RFID is also being implemented into winemaking and compliance solutions and interactive retail kiosks (see Bacaro at the Zurich Airport).

For wine producers, implementing RFID-enabled solutions provides opportunity for process improvement across many areas of their business - from growing grapes, to making wine, to sales and marketing.  If you have a story to share on these topics or others related to the use of technology in wine production and anti-counterfeiting, please let us know below.

"May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead." - Old Irish Toast

[photo: William Koch]

RFID and the Beverage Marketplace (part 1)

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Aug 23, 2010 @ 03:53 PM

Tags: RFID, Food & Beverage, Keg Tracking

Thank You Sir!  May I Have Another?

  • Consumers in the U.S. purchased approximately 9.4 billion cases of carbonated soft-drinks in 2009. 
  • According to Slashfood, 51.7 million cases of beer are sold in the week surrounding the Super Bowl and 63 million for Father's Day (way to go dads!).
  • Market research group Mintel reported wine sales reached $27.6 billion dollars in 2009, up from $27 billion in 2008.

The production and sale of soft drinks, bottled waters, beer, wine, spirits and all other non-alcoholic and alcohol drinks makes up a $700 billion global beverage marketplace.  In order to remain competitive, brewers, vineyards, bottlers and distributors need to continuously drive efficiencies into their businesses to create new categories, offer new brands and deliver new products to market to each year. 

Throughout this week we’ll be serving up a few examples of how RFID is being used in the beverage market to drive efficiencies and create new consumer experiences.  Some examples, like keg tracking, have been around for a while - addressing well known asset tracking and supply chain challenges.  Others are newer innovations in the areas of dispensing, sales trend and consumption analysis, and test marketing that companies are using to differentiate themselves in order to maintain a competitive edge.

RFID in the Beverage Supply Chain

kegsFor beverage companies, RFID offers a number of ways to help move products through the supply chain and keep the shelves stocked with drinks when customers are there to purchase them.  RFID solutions speed data capture throughout production cycles and eliminate manual and paper-based processes that are prone to errors and can result in distribution and fulfillment delays.

For example, in April 2009, PepsiCo's Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana business units began using RFID-enabled pallets from Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS) in their supply chains.  RFID reading and reporting solutions from iGPS provide improved asset visibility, billing accuracy, reduced loss, and helps companies comply with industry requirements like Sarbannes-Oxley.  iGPS RFID solutions are also being used by The Sunny Delight Beverages Co., a leading producer of juice drinks including brands including SunnyD citrus punch, FruitSimple fruit smoothies, Fruit2O flavored waters, and Veryfine juice drinks. 

To improve the distribution of its products, Ringnes, a subsidiary of the Carlsberg Group and Norway's largest brewery and supplier of bottled water and carbonated drinks, is using an EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID system to track the beverage containers it ships to retailers and as they return from distributors. Surely influenced by its view of ‘a smarter planet’, Ringnes teamed with IBM to source and deploy its RFID infrastructure. RFID Journal covered this news in a detailed case study.

Another area that RFID is being used is beer keg tracking.  Keeping this discussion away from college parties, game-day tailgating and backyard barbecues and instead, focusing on the number of kegs used and returned by bars and restaurants, it may surprise you that over fifty million of these reusable containers are lost or damaged each year.  To combat this loss, several companies have implemented RFID-enabled keg tracking solutions.  A few examples follow.

New Belgium Brewing Co. has implemented Fluensee AssetTrack™ to track the aluminum-and-steel kegs used to distribute the beers it produces at its brewery in Fort Collins, Colo.  The RFID system not only allows New Belgium to track keg location and status, but also provides key customer metrics such as fill-to-fill cycle times and distributor keg turn rates.

Scottish and Newcastle, a subsidiary of Heineken, is using the InteliTap RFID keg tracking and management system to keep track of 2.1 million kegs.  InteliTap is also working with other major brewers including Carlsberg UK and Molson Coors.

So, the next time you tip back a tall frosty beer (origins dating back to the 6th millennium BC), sip your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon (first plantings in the 18th century), fill up a fountain drink (Coca-Cola was invented in 1886), serve your kids a SunnyD (first manufactured in 1964), or contemplate what next year’s favorite flavor is going to be, share your thoughts about how technologies like RFID have impacted your beverage choices.  You’ll be the hit of the party – I promise.  Or, you can share them with us.  We’d like to hear from you.

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