Protecting baby formula and alcohol against theft

In Australia, baby formula and alcohol rank as the two most commonly stolen items in the food and beverage sector, costing grocery and beverage retailers millions of dollars each year.

High in value and easy to conceal, they are also simple to protect with the right loss prevention strategies.

Here’s a quick insight into baby formula and liquor bottle tags, which are both purpose-designed to guard these highly sought-after products against theft.

Why so popular?

Both baby formula and alcohol share a couple of common traits. Each commands a high resale value and each is relatively easy to conceal.

That makes them a natural target for shoplifting, but there are a couple of unique differences as to why thieves choose to target these goods.

Baby formula

Baby formula and alcohol

Baby formula became a highly sought-after item following the Chinese milk scandal in 2008, with Chinese buyers seeking trusted Australian formula. At the peak of the crisis, $30 tins of baby formula were retailing for over $100 in China.

That led to a spike in personal shoppers sourcing formula from Australian supermarkets and resulted in supermarkets limiting purchases. It also led to some frightening statistics when it came to theft.

For example, last year Australian police cracked an alleged crime ring that was in possession of an estimated $1 million in stolen formula.


Baby formula and alcohol

Alcohol, on the other hand, is a crime that tends to involve shoplifters across the board. Not only are wines and spirits sought after for personal consumption, high-end brands also command a high resale value.

That makes liquor a target for casual shoplifters stealing out of addiction, opportunistic juvenile thieves stealing for the thrill and also organised retail crime rings, who steal to re-sell the items.

The Global Retail Theft Barometer also explains spirits and wines are relatively easy to conceal, making them a natural target for shoplifting and theft.

So how do you protect them?

A tag for every product

Regarded as a highly effective way of reducing theft, security tags are available in a range of shapes and sizes, including designs which are specifically suited to alcohol and also baby formula. So let’s take a look at each.

Baby formula tags

Baby formula and alcohol

Available in AM (acousto magnetic) frequency, baby formula tags are designed to clamp around the base of the tin and have minimal impact on shelf space.

The tags fit around 127mm diameter baby formula tins, and can only be detached using a compatible detacher.

Quick to affix and easy to remove at the Point of Sale, the tags cause an alarm to sound when formula is being stolen from a store.

Importantly, the tag does not obscure product information and branding.

You can view a video on how baby formula tags work here

Liquor bottle tags

Baby formula and alcohol

Suited to a range of bottle sizes, liquor bottle security tags come in a variety of styles.

Some simply affix to the bottle using a strap, while others fit over the cap of the liquor or wine bottle and lock into position. Bottle top tags which fit over the cap offer the added benefit of ensuring the bottle cannot be opened for the contents to be consumed instore.

All styles can only be removed with a specialist detacher.

Each tag is also fitted with a receiver that will alarm when in the proximity of the store’s electronic article surveillance (EAS) during an attempted theft.

Bottlecap tags are available to suit both AM (acousto magnetic) and RF (radio frequency) EAS systems, making them compatible with existing EAS systems that are likely to be on the premises.

They are available in small, large, and universal sizes to suit wine and spirits including top-shelf liquors, champagnes and standard wine bottle openings.

You can see a video which illustrates how liquor bottle tags work here, or alternatively, place your order here.