Global food giant Kraft Heinz has petitioned a judge in a federal court in New York to mediate a dispute between it and leading Australian food manufacturer Bega, alleging “Bega’s blatant violation of Kraft’s intellectual property rights,” according to court documents.
The dispute began after Bega acquired a host of Kraft products, including Vegemite and Kraft peanut butter from Mondelez International in January 2017.
Bega has since also acquired the Kraft factory in Port Melbourne.
Under the terms of the acquisitions, Bega was required to stop using the Kraft logo and name on its peanut butter products by the end of 2017.
Bega has done this, and is now using the Bega logo instead of the Kraft one on a similar looking product.
Kraft is however arguing that this is not enough and is seeking to stop Bega from using the yellow lid jar design that looks similar to that used by Kraft-branded peanut butter.
In the documents lodged in the US, Kraft Heinz said Bega’s actions are as “a flagrant violation of the most fundamental tenet of contract law.”
Bega is disputing Kraft Heinz’s claims, saying it owns the right to the particular jar and packaging.
In the meantime, Kraft Heinz has also announced it has plans to start selling a new Kraft branded peanut butter in Australia in 2018.
Australian Food News contacted both Kraft Heinz and Bega for comment but did not get a response prior to publication.