United Kingdom

Colin the Caterpillar: M&S sues Aldi over its £4.99 Cuthbert the Caterpillar

Marks & Spencer has taken Aldi to court over a copycat version of its £7 Colin the Caterpillar cake - claiming the supermarket is 'riding on the coat-tails' of its reputation.

The grocery giant launched an intellectual property claim with the High Court this week because of its rival's £4.99 Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake. 

M&S has argued the similarity of Aldi's product misleads consumers, who might think they are of the same standard.

It wants Aldi to remove the cake from sale as well as agree not to sell anything similar in the future.

M&S launched an intellectual property claim with the High Court this week because of Aldi's Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake. Pictured, Colin the Caterpillar

M&S launched Colin the Caterpillar around 30 years ago and his appearance has been substantially unchanged since around 2004, except for adaptations for events such as Halloween and Christmas, and related products such as Connie the Caterpillar.

Meanwhile, reports of the Cuthbert the Caterpillar version first emerged in 2019.

Two years ago M&S responded to a customer's Tweet about Aldi's cake with a picture of spiderman and the comment: 'Hmm, my spidey senses are tingling... we definitely spot an impostor.' 

Meanwhile, reports of the Cuthbert the Caterpillar version (pictured) first emerged in 2019

Two years ago M&S responded to a customer's Tweet about Aldi's cake with a picture of spiderman and the comment: 'Hmm, my spidey senses are tingling... we definitely spot an impostor'

Aldi is not the only supermarket to launch a similar product. Sainsbury's sells a caterpillar cake called Wiggles for £6 and Tesco sells Curly the Caterpillar for the same price.  

The product is central to M&S's partnership with cancer charity Macmillan, and the retailer has created a Colin product for the annual World's Biggest Coffee Morning fundraising event.

The cake is a sponge with milk chocolate and buttercream, topped with chocolate sweets and a smiling white chocolate face.

M&S launched Colin the Caterpillar around 30 years ago and his appearance has been substantially unchanged since around 2004, except for adaptations for events such as Halloween and Christmas. Pictured, an Easter version 

M&S has three trademarks relating to Colin, which the retailer believes means Colin has acquired and retains an enhanced distinctive character and reputation.

A spokesman said: 'Because we know the M&S brand is special to our customers and they expect only the very best from us, love and care goes into every M&S product on our shelves.

'So we want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.'

Last year, M&S launched a new cake delivery service where you can send a loved one a Colin the Caterpillar cake and gift bag filled with treats for £20. 

MailOnline has contacted Aldi for comment. 

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