News Dispute over peanut butter branding to cost US giant $9 million

Dispute over peanut butter branding to cost US giant $9 million

Australia's Bega Cheese has reached a $9.25 million settlement with US giant Kraft Heinz. Photo: ABC
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A string of failed legal proceedings concerning peanut butter has ended with a US food giant agreeing to pay Australia’s Bega Cheese $9.25 million.

Bega Cheese and US company Kraft Heinz had been locked in a long-running legal dispute, centred on Bega’s use of a jar with a yellow label and yellow lid.

Bega bought the peanut butter business from Mondelez Australia in 2017, and produced the spread at what was the Kraft factory in Port Melbourne.

However Kraft claimed Mondelez could not sell the rights to use Kraft’s peanut butter packaging.

The two companies were in court as recently as last year, when an appeal by Kraft Heinz was dismissed by the Federal Court.

Settlement reached

On Thursday, Bega announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that it had entered into a confidential settlement for monetary relief and legal costs.

“As part of the settlement, all outstanding issues between the parties regarding the right to use the peanut butter trade dress and the legal proceedings have been resolved,” the company said.

The terms include Kraft Heinz making a payment of $9.25 million to Bega Cheese.

It is not the only court case Bega has faced in recent years concerning its peanut butter products.

Earlier this year Fonterra lost a legal battle to block Bega Cheese from using the Bega brand on a range of peanut butter.

-ABC