On A Slippery Note

The maggi controversy has hit everyone- half of Indians now cannot claim they can cook, kids can no longer demand hot snacks in 2 minutes, mother need not stock on maggi, the retailers fear the entire processed food category will get affected by the maggi controversy, competitors in the category got stronger with advertisements stating their quality compliance. ‘Maggi- Maggi everywhere but not a single strand to eat’. This is the condition of a maggi fan.

In the maggi controversy we have been dealing with a Multi National Company which is bound by the rules and regulations of the country. But there is a threat to the consumers much beyond maggi. Has anyone thought about it? It is the threat of counterfeits. Counterfeit refers to a fraudulent imitation of a popular brand. Counterfeit products are the imitation of the real product. It aims to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.

Counterfeits are often heard in clothes, electronics, handbags, luxury goods, spare parts, toys, perfumes etc. But there are counterfeits in food & products which directly affect the human body. The products which are the most counterfeited include pharmaceutical products, Apart from which counterfeit in food category includes olive oil, honey, milk, vinegar, saffron, pepper, juices, and in the personal care products like talc, shampoo, soaps, toothpaste and other skin care products. Most of these products have a label which is similar in design, shape, and color to the top brands but are available at a very cheap price. Gullible people assuming it to be branded products buy without noticing the difference. This is mostly done in small town and in the local kirana stores. Taking advantage of the ignorance and price sensitivity of the products the kirana stores are able to sell such products which offer them high margins in comparison to the actual brand. The presence especially in smaller places is difficult to track as this is mostly done through the unorganized route.

Thus counterfeits products have entered every aspect of our daily life, thereby raising safety and health concerns. Apart from the health safety there are also chances that the money earned through counterfeiting is put to illegal use. Considering the significance of the crime June 5 is celebrated as world anti-counterfeiting Day every year world over

.Modern retail can play a very important role in the war against counterfeits. Every modern retailer needs to take a pledge that no counterfeits are to be sold through their outlets. This will provide a sense of trust in the minds of the customers

Consumers are in a unique position to bring about a change in this through their choices and behavior as it will affect not only themselves but all the community at large and Modern Retail to support them in this endeavor

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