Australia’s Bega Cheese has come out on top over Chicago-based Kraft Heinz in a dispute over peanut butter, which has lasted more than three years and gone all the way to the High Court.
The dispute was over the use of the yellow trade dress for peanut butter jars and began in 2017 when Bega acquired Mondelēz Australia, then a subsidiary of Kraft, obtaining the peanut butter business and assets in the sale.
However, Kraft continued to sell peanut butter in similar jars, with both brands featuring yellow lids and very similar labelling.
Bega took the US food giant to court over the packaging and won, later also winning Kraft’s appeal.
In its Q3 results, Kraft Heinz reported a net sales increase of six per cent versus the same period a year earlier, to US$6.4 billion. This is in contrast to Bega, which reported a revenue increase of five per cent to $1.5 billion in its FY20 results.
In a win for the little guys, on Friday the High Court of Australia confirmed that Bega is the rightful owner of the distinctive packaging.
Addisons law firm has represented Bega throughout the trial and Justine Munsie, Partner at Addisons said they are thrilled with the outcome.
“Addisons is delighted to have played some part in ensuring that the rights to use the distinctive and well-loved peanut butter packaging remains with Bega Cheese.”