‘The perfect crime’: Aussie business battles counterfeit wine in China

Following the discovery of 14,000 bottles of fake Penfolds wine for sale in China in November, Wine Australia had to concede it can’t keep track of the extent counterfeit Australian wine is being sold in the country.

“We don’t have any data which makes it the perfect crime,” says Wine Australia’s general counsel Rachel Triggs. “It is extremely hard to work out how much is going on.”

A Shanghai-based marketing consultant, Matthew McKenzie, who turned Weet-Bix into a hit in China, said fakes were “an absolutely critical issue” for Australian brands because they risked brand integrity.

“It is broader than just alcohol, it is anything from dishwashing liquid to infant formula. There are fake products in every channel,” said Mr McKenzie, The Export Group’s chief executive for Greater China.

One solution to the wine problem has been developed by Australian business YPB which has created a specially designed serialised QR code with an embedded covert tracer.

China is a growing market for Australian wine with Wine Australia reporting exports to China grew by 51 per cent for the year to March 2018 reaching $1.04 billion.

However, China’s wine thirst is also driving the counterfeit of Australian and other premium wines in Asia. Read more at https://www.theage.com.au/business/small-business/the-perfect-crime-aussie-business-battles-counterfeit-wine-in-china-20181217-p50mok.html



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