Bega wins peanut butter branding war with Kraft Heinz

Australian Court rules on fight over well-known peanut butter branding

Bega Cheese has been given the right to continue to use the trade dress associated with the peanut butter products it acquired as part of its purchase of the Mondelez Grocery Business in 2017.

The Australian Federal Court ruling gives Bega the right to continue using its current packaging of its smooth and crunchy peanut butter products, namely the yellow lid and iconic labels, after Kraft Heinz launched a legal bid to get Bega to stop using the trade dress in 2018 through the US Federal Court.

Bega Cheese acquired the majority of Mondelez International’s local grocery and cheese business in 2017, a portfolio which includes Vegemite, Bonox, ZoOSh, and a transitional royalty-free licence for several Kraft products such as peanut butter and cheese as well as nut spreads, for $460 million with the aim to become a leading Australian-branded consumer goods business. It also purchased a factory in Port Melbourne.

However, Heinz had previously acquired Kraft, and sought to stop Bega Cheese from using the well-known trade dress on its peanut butter products.

The Federal Court also determined that Kraft Heinz’s use of the trade dress is misleading or deceptive under Australian law, and Bega could exclusively use the trade dress.

Barry Irvin, executive chairman of Bega Cheese, said in a statement: "Bega Cheese is proud to have bought the Mondelez Grocery Business in 2017, which included peanut butter.

“Our factory at 1 Vegemite Way Port Melbourne continues to produce Australia’s most favourite peanut butter, which it has done for more than 55 years.

“We look forward to continuing to produce and supply our customers with our much-loved peanut butter products,” he said.   

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu 

 

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