Counterfeit wines is a big problem, and can eventually lead to authorized dealers being put out of business. The more counterfeit wines are sold, the less genuine wines will be sold by the dealers. Within the wine industry, customers are quite quality-conscious, and the wine connoisseurs are able to tell the difference between original and fake, when tasting the wine. Counterfeit wines, makes the consumers who want to buy genuine wines lose confidence in the purchasing. Consequently, counterfeit wines erode consumers’ interest to acquire the products in general and increase their skepticism upon acquisition.
Luxury brands, such as famous and expensive wine companies, invest a lot in building brand equity by marketing their brand. The activities of counterfeiters violate intellectual property and cause heavy damage to brand image. Companies within the wine industry is trying to sell through legitimate and trustworthy channels, however, customers might not always be able to tell the reliable channels from the unreliable.
The problem lies in the tools fraudsters are using to create realistic, high-quality fake packaging, which are now available at a very low cost. This leads to the fact that counterfeit alcohol now looks sleek, professional and authentic and is much harder to detect with the naked eye.
As a result, developments in technology have made fake packaging become increasingly convincing and adulterated drinks are often difficult to detect without a sample tasting. This has allowed counterfeiters to move under the radar and flood the market with fake alcohol products
According to the International Center for Alcohol Policies, 30 % of alcohol consumed worldwide is illicit.
The experts from Wine Spectator estimate that 20% of the wine consumed worldwide is counterfeit wine.