Badel 1862 is struggling with fake spirits in its home market of Croatia

Badel 1862 is struggling with fake spirits in its home market of Croatia

The largest spirits producer in Croatia, Badel 1862, has claimed that up to 10% of its four leading products sold in its domestic market are fakes.

Most bootleg bottles are counterfeit versions of Badel's herbal liqueurs, Pelinkovac and Lavov, Vigor vodka and Prima Brand blend of wine distillates, the company told just-drinks earlier this week.

“This [percentage] represents more than 1m bottles sold in markets, in small shops and in some off-trade establishments,” said a spokesperson for Badel.

The company set up a special brand protection unit to battle the black market for alcoholic beverages, after Croatian police raided an illegal producer of Pelinkovac in the north Croatian city of Varazdin on 24 September.

Earlier this week, a survey in the UK found that almost one in five UK consumers buy alcohol on the black market.