Hang Heung Cake Shop
Applying REAL QR on Century-old Local Mooncake for Authentication and Added Confidence
“I was once notified of the production of fake Hang Heung mooncakes at a factory in a province in Mainland China. I went there to verify and report the counterfeit case but it was time-consuming and exhausting, so I believe it’s wiser to let consumers know how to identify the pirated goods. By recording the scan activities, we get hold of cus tomers’ basic information that helps our analysis and business decision.”
Mr. Desmond Wong, CEO
As the new management team take control of Hang Heung Cake Shop, a century-old brand, they are committed to infusing modern, new elements to its classic Chinese pastries. Introducing Japanese black sesame flavoured mooncake series, promoting through live commerce and cross-over with toy brands are just some of the examples to rejuvenate its brand to target the youth market.
Famous for its traditional handmade wife cake and mooncake, Hang Heung Cake Shop attracted the attention of illegal counterfeiters. There was once a loyal customer who brought a then-new mooncake package to a Hang Heung’s retail shop, complaining about poor quality and taste. They later found out the mooncake were not made by them. Another company attempted to mislead customers by switching the Chinese character of the brand name to impersonate the brand. All these show that copycats are difficult to trace and almost impossible to completely annihilate.
The brand decided to adopt GS1 Hong Kong’s REAL Barcode solution to prevent counterfeits and offer consumers instant product authentication by simply scanning a barcode. REAL Barcode is an integrated barcode that combines GS1 standard with patented anti-forgery micro printing technology to fight forgery. In 2020, the company used 100,000 REAL QR labels with hologram security features on the package of its white lotus seed paste mooncake with double yolks series.
The instance of pirated mooncake then actually took place the same year. The episode highlighted the importance to educate consumers to distinguish between the real and fake products. When consumers scan the REAL QR with any mobile device using any app, REAL Barcode app will be activated to do a simple scan and perform product authentication instantly. The scan results will then be sent back to Hang Heung as simple sales data, and once a forged product is scanned, the company can be notified and take actions against the counterfeiters, or do more brand education.
The solution is simple to setup without the need for change or update of the backend sales system, boosting cost-effectiveness and security. The solution allows customers to differentiate the real from the fakes and to connect to the company e-shop, which also encourages O2O cross-selling. To combat illegal copycats, the company is considering further adoption of the REAL Barcode on its other best-selling delicacies.
GS1 standards used or solution (s) / service (s) applied
• REAL Barcode
REAL Barcode helps Hang Heung reinforce consumer and market confidence in the below ways:
1. Boosting brand image by enabling consumers to authenticate products themselves;
2. Countering the fakes by monitoring counterfeiters’ sales channels;
3. Instilling a younger brand image with technology.
About the Company
Established a century ago, Hang Heung Cake Shop has become a well-known Chinese assorted cake manufacturer in Hong Kong and overseas community, particularly for its traditional wife cake and white lotus seed paste. Offering 25,000 homely baked pastries every day, Hang Heung also brings a generous portion of local heritage and history.