Case study peanut butter
Case study peanut butter

It's nuts! Aussies face peanut butter problem

A popular peanut butter brand could disappear from shelves with US corporate goliath Kraft forbidden from supplying supermarkets after losing a nutty court battle against Australia's Bega Cheese.

Kraft smooth and crunchy peanut butter was due to be on sale at a discount in IGA outlets from Wednesday.

But the savings won't go ahead now, with IGA blaming the US corporation, saying it has "immediately ceased supplying, selling, offering to sell, advertising or promoting" their product in Australia following a Federal Court decision on April 14.

 

Kraft Crunchy peanut butter is in danger of coming down from the shelves of supermarkets due to a legal battle.
Kraft Crunchy peanut butter is in danger of coming down from the shelves of supermarkets due to a legal battle.

 

The long-running legal battle began after Bega bought out a Kraft subsidiary which owned the rights to numerous pantry favourites including "never oily, never dry" peanut butter and Vegemite in mid-2017.

Bega was legally able to use what is called the "trade dress" - the well-known yellow lid and blue or red labels commonly associated with the Kraft product, as they entered the $60 million market.

But Kraft wasn't happy and the corporation launched Federal Court proceedings accusing Bega of misleading the public.

 

Kraft were unhappy about such things as Bega’s use of their famous yellow lid.
Kraft were unhappy about such things as Bega’s use of their famous yellow lid.

 

After the judge disagreed, and ruled in Bega's favour last year, Kraft were told they could not sell or advertise peanut butter with the yellow trade dress in Australia.

Bega touted it as a win that would keep jobs and profits in Australia but Kraft was not satisfied and launched an appeal, saying the judge made errors. But the full court, two weeks ago, again ruled against them and in favour of Bega Cheese.

They dismissed the appeal, upholding the original ruling.

 

Customers like 2-year-old Ezekiel Sanmuganathan will be the ones missing out if there is no more peanut butter. Picture: Monique Harmer
Customers like 2-year-old Ezekiel Sanmuganathan will be the ones missing out if there is no more peanut butter. Picture: Monique Harmer

 

A shortage seems unlikely for now though. Woolworths does not stock Kraft peanut butter, but Coles and Aldi say supplies will not be affected.

And that's good news for Bronte mother Greta Sanmuganathan and her two-year-old son Ezekiel, who eats it by the spoonful.

"We won't die without it but it is definitely something we usually have," Mrs Sanmuganathan said.

 

 

Originally published as It's nuts! Aussies face peanut butter problem


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