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Anti-counterfeiting, a steadily growing market

08 012018


The battle against counterfeiting is a constantly growing business, and in the quest to prevent “fake” products package printing plays an important role. This is true not only in the luxury, pharmaceuticals or toy markets, but also in food and beverages. Print4All will exhibit technologies, materials and inks that can be effectively used to protect the authenticity of products.

The prevention of counterfeiting is a constantly growing business owing to the steady expansion of the market in fake goods, something that the majority of market analysts say will continue to particularly hit the USA, Italy and France.

In the case of Italy, for example, “Italian-sounding” products now exceed 60 billion euros in turnover a year, with almost two apparently Italian products out of three on sale in the international market being false (source: Coldiretti). In the United States, 7 out of 10 Italian-style pecorino cheeses are “sham”, although the name explicitly suggests that they are made in Italy.

Regulations and agreements are being developed all over the world to stem this phenomenon: last September, for example, the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies signed an agreement with Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, to promote outstanding agrifoods in our country and to fight against fake products.

The geography of risk
According to the 2016 PMMI “Brand Protection and Product Traceability” study, counterfeiting is predicted to rise by 3% a year: as a result, the anti-counterfeiting market will grow at an annual rate of between 12.8% and 16% over the next 5 years

North America is confirmed as the area with the highest usage of anti-counterfeiting systems, followed by Europe. Asia will have the highest rate of growth (18.1%) between now and 2020 (Allied Market Research).

Package printing as a barrier
Printing and packaging play a fundamental role in this market, constituting a barrier to the spread of counterfeit products among luxury goods (brand protection), pharmaceuticals, toys (where consumer safety is at risk in different ways), and also - to a steadily increasing extent - in food and beverages.

Again according to Allied Market Research, the anti-counterfeiting packaging market will reach a turnover of 62.5 billion dollars by 2020.

The development of new technologies to restrict this phenomenon is therefore one of the elements that many manufacturers and technology integrators are concentrating their efforts upon, bringing innovation to the market.

Holograms and inks
There are many constantly evolving approaches to the fight against counterfeiting from the technological point of view, especially in response to changes in consumer behaviour.

Of the currently existing anti-counterfeiting technologies holograms are expected to take a leading role in food packaging, while RFID technologies will be the fastest growing (20.4% annual growth rate).
Smartphones will be increasingly useful to the final consumer in verifying the authenticity of products, for example through the use of QR codes or Ghost Codes.

The use of special inks is also growing. Thanks to the addition of molecular tags, these become fully-fledged traceability systems that are sometimes applied directly to products. And it’s precisely the use of special inks that enables an broadened approach in the use of labels and in the implementation of verification and control systems.

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