Kraft challenges John Morrell, Cracker Barrel deal

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Kraft Foods Group wants a license agreement between Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and John Morrell Food Group, Lisle, Ill., voided on grounds it violates Kraft's rights to the Cracker Barrel brand, according to Reuters.

Kraft, Northfield, Ill., filed a lawsuit against Cracker Barrel to stop the deal with John Morrell, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. The multi-year licensing agreement will make select Cracker Barrel products available to consumers in new retail channels. The deal would bring products such as ham, bacon, assorted lunch meats, glazes, jerky and summer sausage to a wide range of retail outlets including grocery and club stores and mass merchandisers.

But Kraft said in court papers filed Jan. 31 that since 1954, Cracker Barrel brand products sold in grocery stores and similar stores have come exclusively from Kraft or have been licensed by Kraft and not from Cracker Barrel.

The deal would encroach on Kraft's market by selling products in new retail channels besides Cracker Barrel restaurants, the company claimed.

The case is: Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC vs Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc, Case No. 13-cv-00780, US District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

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