Mars Inc. filed a lawsuit against J.M. Smucker for alleged trademark infringement of Mars’ Greenies Pill Pockets treats by Smucker’s Milk-Bone Pill Pouches pet treats, reported Pet Product News. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Virginia.
Mars claimed that Big Heart Pet Inc., a subsidiary of Smucker, created a “confusingly similar” product. Mars also took umbrage with the use of the term pouch to describe Smucker’s product, since the treat has only a hole, not an enclosed pocket.
Mars asked the court to determine damages and to prohibit the sale of the Pill Pouch brand and that all inventories of the treat be destroyed.
J.M. Smucker’s attorney responded that at least six other brands have similar products, such as Butler Scripts Pill Pals and Zoe Pill Pops.
On November 17, Big Heart Brands' pet foods and treats were discussed during J.M. Smucker’s earnings conference call about their second quarter of fiscal year 2017. Net sales in the pet food segment decreased by US$35.7 million to US$531 million. This decline was primarily due to volume/mix, which reduced net sales by 5 percent. This was driven by the Meow Mix and Kibbles 'n Bits brands.
Beyond financial data, Smucker’s president announced the company’s plans to offer their premium pet food in retail outlets other than specialty stores.
Tim Wall covers the dog, cat and other pet food industries as senior reporter for WATT Global Media. He hold a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a bachelor's degree in biology. Wall served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2005 to 2007. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Discovery News, Honduras Weekly and other outlets. Contact Wall via https://www.wattglobalmedia.com/contact-us/
By Lindsay Beaton
Pet owners have blurred the line between their health and the health of their animals, and are responding to both with the same product label demands.
By Lindsay Beaton
Sustainability has become more entrenched in the pet food packaging world than ever, as manufacturers and end users alike look for modern solutions to today’s needs.