You know an area is going through a rough economic patch when the counterfeit products that are selling well go from Louis Vuitton and fashion to Colgate and pencils. Milan is seeing a drop in the purchasing of knockoff luxury brands and a consistent rise in everyday products like shampoo, toothpaste and spaghetti noodles.
Counterfeiters of the kind who normally concentrate on ripping off luxury labels are diversifying into cheaper daily items like soaps and shampoos to lure Italian consumers cutting back on everything amid the recession, a study on Monday said.
Trademark counterfeiting generated 6.9 billion euros ($9 billion) in sales in Italy in 2010, with clothing, accessories and software as best-sellers, Rome-based think-tank Censis said.
"The impact of counterfeiting on the economy is huge," Censis said in a statement, adding that it cost 1.7 billion euros in missed tax revenues for Italy's depleted state coffers.
Although volumes may be falling, cheaper counterfeit products are gaining traction from demand for lower-priced goods, Censis said.