A Cake At The Heart Of A War Between Two Retail Giants

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At the very least unusual plagiarism is at the origin of a conflict between two giants of the mass distribution, in the supermarkets of the United Kingdom. As reported The Observer, in an article found on Thursday April 22, 2021 by International mail, the famous cake “Colin the Caterpillar” of the group Marks & Spencer, would have been copied then put on sale by the chain Aldi, giving rise to a legal action of the British group.

Marks & Spencer accuses Aldi of having copied, or even “cloned”, his hit cake, a chocolate caterpillar, whose sales multiply during children’s birthday parties. To protect their pastry covered with chocolate icing, designed especially for special occasions, the brand demands that its company withdraw from sale its strongly similar chenille, called “Cuthbert”.

It must be said that “Colin the Caterpillar” is a true standard bearer of the Marks & Spencer brand. 30 years after its creation, this chocolate pastry has sold over 15 million units, generating revenues valued at over 120 million euros. After entering the shelves of British supermarkets in the autumn of 1990, a few weeks before the end of Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister, this cake has found pride of place on the plates of young and old, lasting over time.

The “caterpillar war” is declared

To better understand the success of this cake, The Observer points out that caterpillars are “one of the few fully cylindrical animals and their downy bodies make them the coolest insect.” While several groups, such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s have, in the past, also produced cakes in the shape of caterpillars, the BBC explains for its part why Marks & Spencer decided to attack Adli in justice.

The resemblance of Adli’s caterpillar, “Cuthbert”, would be too disturbing with “Colin” according to Marks & Spencer who believes that lovers of this chocolate cake might be tempted to favor it because of its lower price (5.80 euros against 8.10 euros). It is now the role of justice to have to decide in this affair that several British media qualify as “war of the caterpillars”.


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