There’s panic in Germany, where knock-off Gold Blend has been discovered in one retail store. What’s most worrying is that the jars containing the fake product also contained bits of glass and plastic. We don’t yet know how these knock-off products were distributed or where they come from. According to the first facts to come to light, it seems that old “Gold Blend” jars were used that have not been on the shelves for some years now. Examples of this “fake Gold Blend” have even been sold on Amazon India’s platform and in some retail stores in Bangladesh.
Those in charge at the Swiss giant swiftly issued a statement: “We are appalled by this criminal activity and strongly condemn the illegal counterfeiting and marketing of our brand. Our first priority is the quality and safety of our products.”
While there’s no easy way to tell a fake product from the original, here are a few things to check if you have doubts:
- The packaging: that’s where the counterfeiters usually make their biggest mistakes. Check to see if there are obvious errors in the text, whether the company’s corporate identity and style are adhered to (logo, colours, fonts, etc.).
- Checking the barcode using an application that provides information on food and drink products will sometimes reveal whether it is fake.
- Visit the company’s website: does the product exist? If so, in what form (what does the container or the packaging look like)? “Official” packshots will usually help you to quickly tell the real from the fake.
- Expiry date: if the fake product is using a “real” container, but the expiry date should have led to it being destroyed… you shouldn’t buy it. Unscrupulous resellers may sell whole batches of expired products (and freeze-dried products are a classic example) that will re-enter the market with no change made to the expiry date, as was the case in India and Bangladesh.