Counterfeit food products are increasingly being sold in China and Hong Kong. We have covered many stories from trademark infringing oranges to counterfeit BiteRiot fruit being sold in China. Rice being a huge food staple in China has attracted high valued brands such as Golden Phoenix. This has also got the attention of counterfeiters. Recently the suspects of the most recent bust have claimed they sold 40 tonnes of the rice, and were caught with 2,800kg (6,172 pounds) in a warehouse.
Now, I know a lot of people ask, what is this counterfeit food? Are they making fake rice? Counterfeit food, for example, is when you take a branded fruit, such as BiteRiot which sells premium fruit, and replace it with a different apple. Then you put it into the same package you took the real apples out of or make a package with the trademark. It is no different then any other counterfeiting. You are making a fake product look like the real one.
Hong Kong customs officials have seized 2,800kg of counterfeit Thai jasmine rice packed under the brand Golden Phoenix.
Customs seized 112 bags of the counterfeit Golden Phoenix jasmine rice each weighing 25kg.
They had packed and sold more than 1,600 bags of counterfeit jasmine rice, or about 40 tonnes, with a value of 500,000 Hong Kong dollars ($64,000 USD).
This group used a truck to haul around the rice and sell it at night. When asked why the rice was cheaper, they would reply that they are bypassing the middle man, thus having a lower price.
Real Golden Phoenix Thai jasmine rice is priced at HK$360 ($46) a bag, while a counterfeit bag is sold for $21. Here is what the fake rice looks like:
Take this example of a group out of Kowloon that sold fake rice door to door. The group of three would take phone orders and deliver at night. They also offered free deliveries! They were caught after a tip was sent to the police. When the police raid the groups warehouse, they found $4,300 worth of fake rice. The number they sold is unknown.
Have I ever ate counterfeit food before? I may never know. I have had many brands that I like ending up tasting really bad here and there. I just assume it was a bad batch or somehow expired before the date. Counterfeit food is not that large in the US, but it does happen.