The number of fake processed foods on supermarket shelves is growing, with the number of processed foods sold in the United States reaching an all-time high in the first quarter of 2017, according an analysis by consumer technology and media research firm DigiTimes.
As of the end of the first week of February, DigiTimestarts found, there were over 1,000 fake processed grocery items on supermarket racks across the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as 1,068 processed food items.
While the number has continued to rise, the total number of counterfeit processed food and food processing products sold in all regions of the United Republic of Ireland has fallen in the same period.
In contrast, the number sold in Europe and Japan has increased, with both countries seeing a significant increase in the number and size of fake products being sold.
However, Digitimes analysis found that while there is still a lot of fraud in the food supply chain, it has now taken a major blow.
DigiTimes said that despite the massive increase in fake products on supermarket shelf space, there was a significant decrease in the volume of fake food being sold in retail stores.
Digitimes data also showed that the volume sales of fake groceries were almost evenly split between the UK and Ireland.
Digimatch reported that the total sales of processed grocery products sold by supermarkets fell by 3% year-on-year in the period to the end June.
In comparison, the UK saw an increase of 3.7% in the year-over-year figures.
This means that the UK’s retail food industry has seen a dramatic decline in sales, and the figure will continue to fall as the economy recovers.
The figures also show that the number who were actually buying processed food was down across the UK.
In England, for example, sales of packaged food products fell by 2% year on year, while the total for processed food fell by 4.3%.
However, the biggest declines in sales were seen in Wales, where sales of food and drink products fell 5.8% year, and in Scotland, where the number sales fell by 8.2%.
In Wales, sales fell 7.3% year and sales of fruit and veg fell by 6.2% in England.
Meanwhile, sales in Scotland also dropped by 7.7%.
However there was an increase in sales of produce and drink across the country, with sales up by 2.9% year over year.
The report also highlighted the increase in fraudulent food products, with Digitimestarts research finding that the percentage of fake grocery products in the market was growing in the UK in the second quarter of the year.
DiginTimes said the number is expected to continue to grow as the market recovers, and that consumers are increasingly looking for alternative products when they need to buy food.
“The growing demand for alternative goods and services, and a greater reliance on cheaper imported ingredients, means consumers are now increasingly turning to more alternative food and product options,” it said.