Advertise with fastmoving.co.za
 
 

Woolworths has categorically denied allegations by Michelle Legge, who founded beverage company Superlatte in 2016, that the retailer has copied her product.
Woolworths has categorically denied allegations by Michelle Legge, who founded beverage company Superlatte in 2016, that the retailer has copied her product.

Woolworths denies that it copied Superlatte products

RETAILER NEWS

By Carin Smith - Feb 14th, 12:10

Woolworths has categorically denied allegations by Michelle Legge, who founded beverage company Superlatte in 2016, that the retailer has copied her product. 

Woolworths has categorically denied allegations by Michelle Legge, who founded beverage company Superlatte in 2016, that the retailer has copied her product.

In a blog that was widely shared on social media, Legge writes that her business was self-funded and experienced "a long and tough first year" after which the business started to look promising.

She said she launched three drinks into the SA market, namely a turmeric, beetroot and matcha latte powder blend. She admits that the launch coincided with a global trend around turmeric and "rainbow" lattes.

She says she discovered in June 2017 that Woolworths had also launched the "superfood latte" concept on its café menu, calling it Super Lattes. She claims it has "striking similarities" to her brand.

Yet, she decided not to take "action" against Woolworths, because she "was discouraged and intimidated by their size and realised that legally, they were within their rights".

Legge further admits that, as far as the latte flavours went, it is "nearly impossible to copyright a recipe, and there were a couple of variations in the Woolworths version".

In her view, the Woolworths Super Lattes taste "inferior" to her Superlatte blends. She claims that consumers confuse her brand with what's on offer at Woolworths.

"So what's the bottom line here? In 2019, turmeric lattes and the like are hardly a unique concept. We don't 'own' the trend nor the flavour combinations, but we do own our name," writes Legge.

"Supporting the local start-ups Woolworths finds so inspiring would be a good start. But for now, perhaps Woolworths could consider a menu refresh?"

International trend

According to Woolworths, it first noticed an international trend of "superfood" lattes - also known as rainbow lattes, super lattes or unicorn lattes - in 2016.

"We refer to these 'superfood' drinks as Super Lattes on our beverage menu, based on research on how it is sold across the world and because the term 'super latte' is descriptive of lattes that contain components of what is generally referred to as 'superfoods'," Woolworths said in a statement in response to a query by Fin24.

According to Woolworths, its supplier has been producing powdered and rooibos-based drinks since 2005 and has extensive powdered drinks expertise and heritage.

"In April 2017, following extensive trials and tastings of turmeric, beetroot, matcha and other flavours, we launched commercial production of this product and introduced them in our WCAFES in May 2017," said Woolworths.

Woolworths said that, because Legge and Superlatte have not made contact with the retailer previously, it was first made aware of the Superlatte products and Legge's concerns through her blog posted in February 2019.

"We remain deeply committed to small businesses in South Africa. More than 90% of our food products are sourced and/or produced locally," said Woolworths.
Fin 24 

Read more about: woolworths | superlatte | retailer | retail

Related News

Tips for small business owners to survive load-shedding
20/03/2019 - 09:36
With small businesses already dealing with hikes in VAT and petrol, coupled with decreased consumer spending, load-shedding is a bridge too far, particularly for restaurateurs.

Asos sales up 13% as UK market outperforms
20/03/2019 - 09:25
Asos has reported a rise in its quarterly sales, as growth at home in the UK continues to outperform its foreign markets.

Sainsbury’s and Asda seek to salvage deal with £1bn pledge
20/03/2019 - 08:58
British supermarket groups Sainsbury’s and Asda have committed to deliver £1bn of annual price cuts as they attempt to salvage their proposed combination after being dealt a potentially fatal blow by the regulator.

Is #BlackFriday affecting SA’s December retail trade?
19/03/2019 - 09:37
South Africa has seen the Black Friday sales phenomenon grow exponentially in recent years, quickly entrenching itself as a major calendar event on the local retail and shopping scene. The Black Friday sales bonanza, which takes place towards the end of November, is now bigger in SA than ever before. It is a boon for retailers, shopping centres and consumers. However, is Black Friday an emerging threat for the traditional December festive season sales boom?

Shoprite Group helps waiter become an entrepreneur thanks to his unique product offering
18/03/2019 - 15:02
Phenyo Sebaeng (28) had to borrow money from two of his close friends in order to buy a bus ticket from Rustenburg to Cape Town, where he had secured a meeting with a buyer at the Shoprite Group's home office in January 2017.