It was also a threat to the UK identified by Andy Morling, head of the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit, speaking at last year’s Food Manufacture food safety conference in London.
PMMI compiled the 2016 Brand Protection and Product Traceability Market Research report from the insights of 75 brand manufacturers, industry experts and technology suppliers, which shared their experiences complying with traceability regulations in the food, drink and pharmaceutical sectors.
With more suppliers and more products coming from different countries, it was critical to identify, capture and share accurate product information, the report said, as in this environment, counterfeiting has become a growing challenge.
The report added that increasing incidents of counterfeiting would drive growth in the market for anti-counterfeiting measures over the next five years, with compound annual growth rates ranging from 12.8% to 16%.
This sector is predicted to outpace the overall combined market segment growth of food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries by roughly two to three times in the next five years, claimed the report.
“As this trend continues to increase on a global level, it is of paramount importance that all involved in the packaging and processing industry make continued efforts to maintain tracking control in order to prevent counterfeiting and aid in product recall,” said Paula Feldman, director for business intelligence with PMMI.
“With North America alone accounting for 50% of the total growth of the global anti-counterfeit food packaging market in 2014, it is increasingly important that we as an industry continue to take the necessary action to protect our brands, as well as those around the globe.”
War against drinks fraud
Only last October, Food Manufacture reported on how ‘smart’ technology would lead the war against drinks fraud.
Ruth Walker, an associate lawyer at Gill Jennings & Every, said ‘smart bottles’ were complementing logo marking and batch numbering to stave off the threat of fraud and provide reassurance to consumers that products were genuine.
“Whatever techniques are employed, making them visible to consumers can help to build brand trust in the marketplace, increasing the value of your intellectual property,” said Walker.
The Internet of Things was boosting the arsenal of anti-counterfeiting technologies available to food and drink producers and packagers, she said.