Governments are extending tax collection programmes beyond traditional luxury products such as tobacco, wine and spirits to finance post-pandemic economic recovery and health care programmes. An example of these new markets are soft drinks, beer and water, to name a few.

While physical tax stamp technology has been used to address traditional market requirements, using track and trace systems, labels and enhanced security features, their application to new markets may become challenging due to several reasons.

First, products such as beer and soft drinks are less expensive than luxury goods such as tobacco and spirits. This makes manufacturers more price sensitive and requires an optimised project cost.

Second, production line speeds are faster and labelling products may reduce line performance.

Last but not least, product shapes and colours are variables and adding labels to the same production line is challenging. It may also raise some concerns related to the product brand.

Traceability has been used in various industries over the past decades to track and trace products across the supply chain. We discuss how this technology can help implement successful digital tax stamp programmes and how it can open the door to other applications such as returnable bottles management and inventory tracking, to name a few. We also provide a few recommendations about using the direct-to-print approach on beverage products.