Counterfeit alcohol is alcohol produced and manufactured in unlicenced distilleries, or in homes. They can be packaged up to resemble large, recognisable brands. This of course brings many issues for both the large brand and the consumer. Not only does counterfeit alcohol threaten the brand image of a larger alcohol manufacturer and its revenues, it can also pose serious health consequences if consumed by the customer.
According to the Foods Standard Agency, alcohol marked safe for consumption contains ethanol, however counterfeit products can contain other harmful chemicals such as antifreeze, screenwash and nail polish remover. These have been known to cause blindness, comas or worse. Currently, the most commonly counterfeited alcoholic product in the UK is vodka. In the EU alone, counterfeit wine and spirits cost the drinks industry €2.7bn in direct sales according to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). On a global scale, it is estimated that 30% of the alcohol produced worldwide is counterfeit or illicit. The consumption of counterfeit alcohol has been rocketed since the Covid-19 pandemic, when online sales of alcoholic beverages globally increased 234%. In America alone, online sales of alcohol increased by 80% in 2020.
To help tackle the rise in counterfeit alcohol, we have created the world’s first quantum anti-counterfeit solution for alcohol.