Revolutionary Technologies in Alcohol Retail

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Technology is actively redefining experiences in retail around the world. This article looks at how these emerging trends impact and influence Alcohol Retail.


2021 had put up an immense challenge for retail, especially alcohol retail and has brought a breath of revival to restaurants, bars, breweries, and stores across the world. We continue to live in a hybrid world. This hybrid world calls for intuitive, experimental, and hybrid solutions. Change in the POS systems and the addition of SaaS-based services to effectively serve customers at home became catalysts to bring to the forefront the ongoing advancements in technological developments for alcohol retail. These developments are revolutionary not only for restaurateurs but also will prove to be a game-changer for enthusiasts alike. 

Biometric Wine Dispensers

Wine dispenser

                                             Source: WineEmotion

Consumers today share their biometric details for a myriad of purposes like Identity Verification, Banking, payments, etc. Biometric Wine Dispensers take this one step further. As in their nomenclature, these dispensers require a consumer’s data points to provide them access to beers and wines in storage. While some state institutions were initially apprehensive of the potential misuse of these services, the research around Biometric Wine Dispensers advocates that it could bring down underage drinking to 0.0 per cent and completely rule out Fake IDs due to its strong verification mechanism.

This feature itself answers all statutory and regulatory concerns around Alcohol Retail. This benefit adds up to the long lists of benefits that Wine Dispensers provide by reducing spillage and wastage, increasing shelf life by better preservation, portion control, security, and reduced operational costs.

AR Labels

AR Labels

                                              Source: 19 Crimes

Augmented Reality has the power to bring life to the miraculous and the mundane. AR labels are a great place for brands to tell their stories and take consumers on a virtual experience. These AR labels can then be experienced via apps that allow users to scan the labels on spirits and wines and watch them play out on their smartphones. Imagine sitting down with a bottle of Rosé and scanning the label on the bottle using an app that would then take you on a virtual tour through the winery, cellar, and introduce you to the people involved from the fruits to your flutes!

AR Labels today are being used on packaging from wineries like 19 Crimes in Australia to tell stories of criminals and colonizers using mugshots to global beverage giants like Coca Cola to spread the festive cheer.



                                             Source: HPS Pigging

Pigging is a technology built to enjoy a great wine until the very last drop. Widely used in the wines and spirits industry, it recovers residual products from process pipelines and tubings making the production processes sustainable and cost-effective. This fully automated system consists of a solid plug which is also known as the ‘pig’ whose diameter is marginally wider than the tubing or pipeline. The ‘pig’  is pushed through the pipeline using carbon dioxide, compressed air, water, or the next product in the line. This ‘pig’ is pushed through a pig launcher and collected at the end of the pipeline by a pig receiver.

The residual liquid is then collected or processed with the rest of the product. Pigging naturally leads to greater yields as it saves both the product and the processing costs. Being an automated system, it is fast and extremely efficient by itself and makes processing sustainable by employing the least resources and manpower. 

Blockchain for Credibility

Chai Vault was one of the first anti-fraud solution for wines and spirits to combat a billion dollar problem, Source: Quantechco

The world today seeks authenticity, especially from their spirits and wines. Counterfeiting and adulteration are often packaged in made-up stories and niceties in Alcohol Retail. It happens so that these stories and duplicitous tags of authenticity are so well made-up that seasoned retailers could be misled. Traceability, therefore, has become a need of the hour and Blockchain is the solution. Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFIDs) and Wireless Sensors Network, it builds a universal ledger of Data that cannot be tampered with and would send a chain of alerts to all stakeholders in case of an attempt of tampering. When new data enters the system, it has to be validated by maximum stakeholders to be verified and approved. This ensures end-to-end traceability and credibility and could benefit and assure retailers and consumers alike.

Cryptocurrency as a payment method

Cryptocurrency eliminates the need for physical money. It has been embraced by many industries as an official payment method. Many wineries, pubs, and distilleries have followed suit by accepting payments in Cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).  Cryptocurrency and NFTs can be easily bought and traded online. Many merchants prefer them for the convenience of payments. Payments via Cryptocurrency are faster than Credit Cards and reduce the significant processing costs as compared to Credit Cards. Cryptocurrency also eradicates fraudulent transactions more efficiently than Credit Cards. 

Brands around the world also are using Cryptocurrency and NFTs for auctions, investments, and virtual bids since these assets are easily trackable and convenient to trade further.

Article written by - Prithvi Nagpal

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