British brand Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn may face a legal barrier to being sold in the US, following a rival brand launching a trademark action.
Last week, Amplify Snack Brands filed a suit against Snyder’s-Lance – Metcalfe’s owner. Amplify alleged that Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn brand infringes its own Skinnypop product and that their actions are a “deceptive use and importation of popcorn products.”
Skinnypop was launched in Chicago in 2010, Metcalfe's was established in 2009 - City AM reports.
Amplify CEO, Tom Ennis said: “Snyder’s-Lance's and Metcalfe's effort to copy our brand name is flattering but not how trade competitors should behave.”
He added that: “Infringing products are being sold by Snyders-Lance and Metcalfe that include false registration marks and which are attempting to trade off of the goodwill of our Skinnypop brand."
Snyder’s-Lance acquired the remaining 74% stake in Metcalfe’s last year, and purportedly plans to take the product to the US market. Earlier this year, the company launched several products in the US.
According to Amplify, Skinnypop accounted for more than $200million in sales in the US market last year. There’s no stopping the power of the kernel, with the product expected to reach a popping £9.85million in global sales by 2020.
Furthermore the US is a crucial market, backed up by Amplify’s research showing that 14% of Americans would rather give up their right to vote than give up snacks.