Content Library

Alloy expands into the food and beverage industry

April fools wine cheese 2

We’re excited to announce that Alloy, the leading Identity Decisioning Platform for banks and fintech companies managing identity, fraud, and risk decisions, is expanding into a new industry: food and beverage.

Alloy’s new cheese and wine verification process

Gone are the days when you're eating fake Parmesan cheese or drinking fake Champagne! Alloy's new cheese and wine verification process lets you know that your cheese and wine meet European standards and regulations.

As more food and beverage sales move online, this is becoming increasingly important. The market has become riddled with fraudulent goods. Alloy is leveraging our expertise in fraud mitigation to help grocery stores and restaurants identify fraudulent goods faster and prevent the sale of fake cheese and champagne.

Alloy co-founder and CEO Tommy Nicholas shares his excitement for Alloy's newest expansion, "I was sick of getting swindled into buying Parmesan cheese that’s not from Reggio Emilia, Italy, and Champagne that's not from Champagne, France. I want the real deal! I realized that Alloy is uniquely positioned to help stop food and beverage fraud. I'm excited to work with grocery stores and restaurants to ensure they offer PDO products."

Why do we need fraud prevention for cheese and wine?

You’ve probably had a lot of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in your life (commonly known as Parmesan cheese). Or have you?

In Europe, Parmesan cheese is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product, so in order to be sold as “Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO” or “Parmesan,” the cheese must follow a strict set of rules and be from a specific region in Italy. These regulations have spurred copycat cheeses with similar names, like “Parmezano” or “Parmigiana.” In the United States, this regulation does not exist. So, anything can be sold as Parmesan cheese. Real Parmagiano-Reggiano PDO cheese can be identified by the stamp on its crust, with dots that spell out Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Champagne is another example of a highly regulated PDO product in Europe. To be sold as “Champagne,” it must come from Champagne, France, use pinot noir, chardonnay or pinot meunier grapes, and follow a specific fermentation process. In the US, however, the regulations are not as tight. Any sparkling wine can be labeled Champagne, even if it is not from Champagne, France, as long as it uses the proper grapes and follows the correct fermentation process.

Just kidding! Kind of…

Okay, April Fools! While all of this fascinating information about cheese and champagne fraud is true, Alloy stepping into the cheese and champagne verification game is #fakenews. We’ll be sticking to what we do best: working with banks and fintech companies to serve as their command center for identity and risk decisions. This April Fool's Day prank has been brought to you by Alloy's Marketing team.

The history of food verification: One of society’s earliest fraud problems

While we're not expanding our business to prevent fraud in the food and beverage industry, fraud is an issue in the industry—and people take it very seriously, dating back to bread fraud in Ancient Rome. Bread was an essential source of food for people in Ancient Rome. Roman politicians gave grains to Roman citizens so that even if they didn’t have a lot of money for food, they’d be able to bake bread and feed their families. Many people who baked bread didn’t have their own ovens at home, so they would use community ovens. With so many people baking bread in the same oven, they began stamping the bread to indicate which family each loaf belonged to. If someone stole your loaf, you’d be able to quickly check the stamp to see who was the actual owner. Bread stamps were also used as a status symbol to indicate that the bread was the work of an esteemed baker.

Because the government supplied free grains to its citizens, loaves of bread were a highly regulated commodity in Ancient Rome. Cost, quality, and size were all regulated by the government. Eventually, bread stamps were used to hold bakers accountable for these regulations. If someone was caught lying about their loaves' size or using cheaper ingredients, they could be identified and penalized by the Roman authorities. Today, we don’t see too many bread stamps anymore; however, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese still uses its official stamp to verify authenticity.

Happy April Fool's Day! Tweet us and let us know if we successfully Punk’d you 😝

Related content