Feb 1 Kraft Foods has filed a lawsuit
against casual dining chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc
over its decision to begin selling certain Cracker
Barrel branded products outside of its restaurants and stores,
court documents show.
The food manufacturer wants a marketing license agreement
between Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBOCS) and the John
Morrell Food Group to be declared void because it violates its
rights to the Cracker Barrel brand.
The November deal with John Morrell Food, a unit of
Smithfield Foods, would see select Cracker Barrel
branded products sold in new retail channels besides CBOCS's
restaurants, which Kraft said would encroach upon its market.
Kraft said in the court papers on Thursday that since 1954,
the only Cracker Barrel brand products offered at grocery and
similar stores have come exclusively from Kraft or have been
licensed by Kraft and not from the restaurant chain.
Also, Kraft said CBOCS has never made "significant sales"
of refrigerated foods such as meat products under the Cracker
Barrel mark in any channel of trade, other than as items on
their restaurant menus.
"The parties' market separation that has existed for
decades will be eliminated," Kraft said in its suit asking the
court to quash CBOCS's license agreement with John Morrell Food.
CBOCS could not immediately be reached for comment by
The case is: Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC vs Cracker Barrel
Old Country Store Inc, Case No. 13-cv-00780, U.S. District
Court, Northern District of Illinois.