How can liquor industry secure their products against counterfeiting?

The high number of deaths caused due to hooch tragedies took the entire nation by storm. Counterfeit or low-grade adulterated liquor lead to many deaths in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and quite lately in Assam where the hooch tragedy claimed 150 lives.

As per franchiseindia, “India’s alcohol industry is the third largest in the world with a value of $35 billion. The industry is divided into three categories: Indian Manufactured Foreign Liquor (IMFL), beer, and homemade liquor. Revenue in the Alcoholic Drinks market amounted to US$67,661m in 2018. The market is expected to grow annually by 7.9% (CAGR 2018-2021).”

Due to the massive market for alcohol in India, counterfeiters are using it as an opportunity to sell counterfeit alcohol. Counterfeiting of alcohol has considerably increased with the import of high-quality liquor of globally famous brands. Most of the duplicators use old bottles to refill them with counterfeit alcohol. Along with this they also copy packaging and paste new tax stamps and labels on the bottles.

Holostik has been providing advanced anti-counterfeiting solutions to excise departments of many states in India. However, as per new excise policies, many excise departments have replaced holographic tax stamps with barcodes to ensure track and trace technology.

This has led counterfeiters to easily copy the bar codes and use it on liquor bottles. Perhaps, one of the biggest disadvantages of bar codes and QR codes is that they can be easily copied and pasted on counterfeit products to make them look real.

Holostik has been suggesting a combination of physical and digital security to safeguard liquor products. A multi-layered approach towards securing liquor helps in minimizing the risks of counterfeiting to a large extent, this means that if even if a forger is able to copy bar codes then he would not be able to copy the holographic label. Its like two-edged sword which helps in tackling counterfeiting effectively.