An alarming number of fake California wines are being sold in Asia as authentic imports. Counterfeiting does not just damage the brand owner’s reputation and result in loss of revenue, but may also expose the owner to liability and the consumer to harm. What are the consequences if wine is produced without health department inspections, sanitizing safeguards, quality control tests, product purity, and proper storage? How long before these counterfeit bottles of wine appear in America, on the shelves of your local wine retailer, or in your glass at your favorite restaurant?
Counterfeiting is all about making a fast buck. The rising trend is not just limited to expensive and collectible wines. Is your favorite wine next? “Counterfeiting in China functions on both high and low price tiers,” according to Wine Spectator.
“The criminal counterfeiters all have one thing in common: they are looking for the lowest hanging fruit. They target volume sales and prey on industries that don’t keep up,” states Steve Delepine, VP of business development for BrandWatch Technologies.
“The time has come for the wine industry to be proactive with authentication solutions that are covert, durable, reliable, and add value to the product. The most successful solutions combine all of these elements into one package in addition to a customer-facing element,” states Phil Huff, BrandWatch CEO. “BrandWatch manufactures authentication solutions used for protecting critical infrastructures such as agriculture, government, banking, defense, law enforcement, transportation, and public health. Years of experience in the anti-counterfeiting field give BrandWatch the expertise necessary to assist wine producers in combating fakes.”
Authentication solutions such as unique labels, bottle etching, and RFID are limited when used alone. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a layered approach. BrandWatch’s layered solution integrates into existing print and packaging processes without visibly altering the characteristics of the original product.
“The reputations of trusted brands are under attack around the globe, from counterfeit handbags, sunglasses, cosmetics and prescription drugs, to cigarettes, toothpaste, shampoo, and baby formula. No product or brand is safe. Counterfeiters have the ability to reproduce professional quality labels, holographic images, 2D barcodes, and other traditional authentication methods. Our technology allows for instant validation of authentic products, thus maintaining confidence, integrity, and trust in the quality brands we represent. It is all about adding value to a product,” states Delepine.