Wine Counterfeiting and its statistics

Nowadays, the wine supply chain is structured, global and interconnected. To verify the overall process from raw materials to wine sales, a number of traceability systems and standards have been developed to automate the supply chain activities. However, despite paying good attention to the traceability area of the supply chain, the statistics showed a rapid increase in the wine counterfeiting issue.

Wine Counterfeiting - A problem to focus on In layman terms, the process is said to be wine counterfeiting if it is made in unlicensed distilleries or people's homes to be sold; packaged to look like well-known brands; or contain chemicals, such as screen wash, cleaning fluids or nail polish remover. This situation is subjected to fraud, corruption and error. It causes threats of deteriorating alcohol quality, unfair competition, person’s death, diseases, job losses and financial losses (not just for manufacturers, but also tax losses) and thereby a reduction of the general welfare.

Why wine counterfeiting is happening? Like any market, counterfeiting exists because of supply and demand: forgers who will produce and deliver, and purchasers who will purchase. On both sides, counterfeiting flourishes for a similar explanation: fake products look like real and genuine products. The lack of analysis is even more marked on the internet, where there is no openly available information at all on the distribution of counterfeit alcohol over the internet.

Surge in forged cases In 2018, INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, claims that counterfeit alcohol is a top concern globally. It accounts for almost 5% of the current secondary market worldwide which would amount to $15 billion. The size of global wine consumption has skyrocketed to 246 million hectoliters in 2018. It makes counterfeiting not limited to super- high-end wines. Even small, relatively inexpensive labels are also at risk.

Furthermore, it majorly has affected prominent wine-export and import countries.

These activities not just have an impact on finance, but on human cost also. • 12,000 people died in Russia in 2011 as a result of drinking counterfeit alcohol (compared to 45,000 people in 2005). • 80 people died in the Czech Republic in September 2014 after drinking adulterated alcohol.

• Around 500 people were hospitalized in Poland in 2016 because of glycol and methanol alcohol poisoning.

These statistics appear to be underestimated by business as well as consumers. But here at eBottli, we will be committed to protecting your product and brand image. Your business would carefully be supported by our expertise to figure out where to start building organizational capabilities for adopting trackability and traceability services most effectively.

As for the people that make eBottli, we are a team of seasoned full-stack IT engineers and research analysts familiar with the ways of the most mainstream and niche traceability systems of the world. Currently, we are solving some pretty challenging problems through innovative implementations and we are forever eager to take on more.


INTERPOL, 2018. Annual Report, Europe: s.n.

Statista, 2020. Wine consumption worldwide from 2000 to 2018. [Online] Available at:

The Sydney Morning Herald, 2018. 'The perfect crime': Aussie business battles counterfeit wine in China. [Online] Available at: 20181217-p50mok.html

Wilcox, K., April 2009. Why Do Consumers Buy Counterfeit Luxury?. Journal of Marketing Research, XL(VI), p. 247–259.

VINEX, 2019. Counterfeit alcohol costs drinks industry over $3bn a year. [Online] Available at:


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