The growth of counterfeiting in the packaged food industry

Lately, the Food Safety Department seized over 1000 Kg of counterfeit desi ghee from a market in Delhi. Besides the content, the forgers had copied the packaging, trademarks and logos of a popular desi ghee brand and were selling counterfeit in its name. However, the authorities caught the loopholes and seized a large number of fake desi ghee bottles.

Counterfeiting of packaged foods is not something new and there have been numerous incidents related to the same over the past years. From tea to common salt, butter to bread, edible oils to pickles, a large number of packaged eatables have been counterfeited and adulterated.

As per Allied Market Research, “Packaged Food Market size is expected to garner $3.03 trillion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period 2015 – 2020.” Due to such a massive growth of the packaged food industry, counterfeiters are trying their level best to sell packaged foods by copying the content and packaging of the product.

Counterfeit packaged food is not just harmful to the manufacturers but equally impacts the consumers. According to a paper published by Michigan State University, Global Counterfeit Food & Beverage Packaging: Impacts on Food Safety, “Counterfeit food threats are becoming more common as supply chains become more global and as imaging and manufacturing technology becomes more accessible.”

Counterfeiters refill the original product package, adulterate its contents and copy the labels, logos and other trademarks. In order to check tampering, adulteration and counterfeiting of the original products, manufacturers must use different kinds of anti-counterfeiting packaging technologies. These technologies not just accentuate the brand’s visibility but also secures the brand from duplication and other harmful activities.