New demand for security and authentication devices to tackle the threat of counterfeiting caused by the COVID-19 crisis will strengthen the holography market in 2021, according to a global trade body.
The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) said in a media statement that authentication and track and trace systems, which use holographic technologies, will help to underpin international efforts by government and law enforcement agencies to bolster overt and covert protection strategies in the next 12 months.
While Asia will continue to offer opportunities for holograms in 2021, the IHMA says countries across North America and Europe will also be ramping up investment in technologies to tackle counterfeiting as COVID-19 rages, offering additional opportunities for hologram sales across these regions.
Indeed, recent media reports about the dangers of buying fake products online indicate that the pandemic will contribute towards the push for more security devices.
Haircare brands, cosmetics and skincare tools among other consumer goods have been hit hard, with reports of a 56% increase in counterfeit products sold online across 700 brand clients in the first six months of this year. Some skincare device companies and haircare brands, for instance, have seen counterfeit sales increased by almost 40%.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that a growing volume of fake medicines are on sale in developing countries, while Interpol has seen an increase in fake medical products. Seizures of fake COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) have been reported by both the US CBP and the World Customs Organisation.
This situation is set to continue in the next 12 months, predicts the IHMA, while growth in packaging authentication devices will stay “strong and lucrative” on the back of forecasts that the market for anti-counterfeit pharmaceuticals and cosmetics packaging will reach more than USD 10 billion by the end of 2026, growing by almost 9% in the next five years despite the current situation.
The overall global market for anti-counterfeit packaging is projected to be worth in excess of USD 188 billion by 2025.
A poll has revealed that almost 50% of hologram manufacturers and suppliers are seeing an increase in demand from customers, specifiers and end-users for holographic devices and technologies. This indicates that hologram users will continue to be concerned about the impact of counterfeiting on e-commerce supply chains as the pandemic continues to be felt well into new year.
The IHMA advises brand owners and product manufacturers to tackle the threats, stepping up plans for investment in authentication and verification technologies to protect brands, profits and reputations.
IHMA chair, Dr Paul Dunn, said: “Criminals are infiltrating global supply channels, deploying scams and counterfeits to trick people during these difficult times. Furthermore, items such as falsified medicines and drugs pose a terrible threat and can endanger lives.
“It’s clear that in the face of the continued impact of COVID, we can legitimately say brand owners, law enforcement, government and other influencers will continue to push demand for authentication and brand protection devices such as holograms.”
He also added that holography will continue to find new applications in areas such as medical surgery, head-up display technologies and other smart devices, which enrich people’s lives.
“Display holograms, which can be overlooked and a small sector within the holographic sector, possess growth potential. The growing demand for this type of advanced holography for medical imaging in the healthcare industry, for example, is encouraging and will contribute to driving the sector’s growth in 2021.”
The use of authentication solutions, as advocated by the ISO12931 standard, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from fake products coming from counterfeiting hot spots in Asia and eastern Europe. Even those that carry a “fake” authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.