Kraft Sues Cracker Barrel Over John Morrell Deal, Defends Brand
Feb 02, 2013 10:58 PM EST
Kraft Foods Group has filed a lawsuit to preserve its iconic "Cracker Barrel" brand of grocery products and cheese against an encroachment by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. The latter recently signed an agreement with John Morrell Food Group to license the "Cracker Barrel" name in stores.
Like Us on Facebook
"Due to the public acceptance, fame and great recognition of the Cracker Barrel mark, the mark has come to represent an enormous amount of goodwill for Kraft," stated the filing.
Kraft, based in Northfield, Ill., has sold cheese under the "Cracker Barrel" name since 1954, whereas the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store began in 1969. No previous lawsuit was filed by Kraft against the Cracker Barrel store chain, which runs restaurants attached to gift shops with a southern country theme. This was because the chain sold only a limited catalogue of products in its shops and online.
However, the deal with John Morrell includes a wider selection of products, such as lunch meats, glazes, jerky and summer sausage. These would be sold under the Cracker Barrel store name to supermarkets and big retailers. Kraft is concerned that these will compete against the cheeses and products licensed under its own "Cracker Barrel" brand name, and the potential for consumer confusion over what the brand name represents.
"The parties' market separation that has existed for decades will be eliminated," Kraft wrote.
Cracker Barrel's situation is unique in that two well-recognized yet unrelated brands have existed without conflict for so long.
Kraft has many options at the moment, including the potential to settle with Cracker Barrel stores and possibly license the brand for retail. But with a reported $100 million in annual revenue for the brand alone, it is certainly a valuable asset to protect.
It does not help that John Morrell Foods is related to Kraft rival Smithfield Foods Inc. Still, Kraft has expressed a desire to strike a deal outside of court if possible:
"Kraft hopes that this matter can be resolved without having to proceed with the litigation and has invited Cracker Barrel to propose a settlement," said spokesperson Sydney Lindner. "If settlement talks do not go forward, the litigation will."
The maker of iconic brands such as Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer and Jello generates $19 billion a year in revenue, and has not typically pursued litigation over its brands. Cracker Barrel Country Stores earned $2.58 billion in its most recent year.
Undoubtedly, Cracker Barrel stores were expanding their product offerings as part of a long-term strategic growth plan. If Kraft prevails, and no deal can be made, it will be a hard setback to the country store chain.
Drinking Coffee May Arrest Multiple Sclerosis, Studies Link Several Cups Can Halt Disease- New Study Reveals
Coffee...it's almost everyone's favorite. Coffee is like a booster that makes one get on with the day. It could be addictive that a cup of coffee is not enough. How do you enjoy your steaming hot Joe? What's more amazing with your favorite drink is that now you have more reasons to drink it.
Chicken Campylobacter: More Supermarkets In UK Found To Be Contaminated With Toxic Chicken Campylobacter
Chicken Campylobacter has caused alarming concern as the numbers of contaminated chickens continue to rise in the UK. Chicken Campylobacter becomes the top cause of bacterial gastrointestinal disease in Britain.
Over the last few days, the world has become a stir after the Purina Beneful scandal came to light, as a recent lawsuit says that Purina, the second largest pet food company in the world, has a product that has been making pets sick and even ultimately killing them.
Just today, February 25, 2015, Yahoo! Food posts the secret weapon ingredients used by Star Chefs to achieve the most palatable dishes at home or in a restaurant. The said website revealed the top 10 magical ingredients that can turn home-cooked meals into top class restaurant tastes.
For those who love to have a nice glass of wine or beer during the weekends - which is just about everyone or almost -, there's a new way to keep the guessing out of the way you choose what to drink: the Next Glass app chooses drinks according to what you love!
U.S. Consumers, Ready To Accept Genetically Modified, Nanotech Products If It Is Healthy And Safe, New Survey Reveals
A national survey done by the North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota representatives suggests that most U.S. consumers are ready to accept genetically modified and nanotech products if it is enhanced with nutrition and are safe.