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THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY

(KHC)
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Kraft Heinz 'Mayochup' dispute revived by U.S. appeals court

04/12/2021 | 12:45pm EDT

April 12 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court said a man who created a mayonnaise-ketchup blend he called "Metchup" cannot sue Kraft Heinz Co for selling a similar condiment called "Mayochup," but ordered reconsideration of whether to cancel his trademark registration.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said there was little chance consumers would confuse Mayochup, sold in groceries nationwide under the Heinz brand, with Metchup, sold in the lobby of Dennis Perry's nine-room Star Motel in Lacombe, Louisiana, next to his used-car lot.

But the three-judge court said Kraft Heinz had not met its "heavy burden" to show Perry had abandoned his Metchup trademark, citing Perry's testimony that he hoped to improve Metchup's packaging and sell millions of bottles.

Perry's efforts could be "seen as a foundering business venture rather than a trademark trap," Circuit Judge James Graves wrote.

Metchup blended Walmart-branded mayonnaise and ketchup, or mustard and ketchup, depending on the batch. Perry produced 60 bottles and sold at least 34.

Lawyers for Kraft Heinz and Perry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The appeals court returned the case to a federal judge in New Orleans.

Perry sued Kraft Heinz following the September 2018 U.S. launch of Mayochup after learning the company used a mock-up "Metchup" bottle in an internet campaign to name its new condiment.

Fans submitted at least 95 names including "Metchup," "Best Sauce Ever," "Saucy McSauceFace" and "It's Fry Sauce You Monsters," while Kraft Heinz's marketing team proposed "Ketchonnaise" and "Tomayo."

Kraft Heinz never sold products with these names, and someone else had applied for a "Ketchonnaise" mark.

Mayochup was an effort to reinvigorate Kraft Heinz's product portfolio, which includes Oscar Mayer deli meats, Philadelphia cream cheese and Jell-O, as more consumers turn to healthier and less-processed products.

The Chicago-based company, in which Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc has a 26.6% stake, has improved results recently as the COVID-19 pandemic caused people to buy more packaged foods.

The case is Perry v H.J. Heinz Co Brands Inc et al, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-30418.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHEESE FUTURES (CSC) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.06% 1.597 End-of-day quote.-2.80%
THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY -1.31% 38.47 Delayed Quote.10.99%
WALMART INC. 0.22% 142.55 Delayed Quote.-1.11%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 25 291 M - -
Net income 2021 3 200 M - -
Net Debt 2021 19 268 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 15,5x
Yield 2021 4,17%
Capitalization 47 054 M 47 054 M -
EV / Sales 2021 2,62x
EV / Sales 2022 2,68x
Nbr of Employees 38 000
Free-Float 53,8%
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 21
Last Close Price 38,47 $
Average target price 42,88 $
Spread / Average Target 11,5%
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Managers and Directors
Miguel Patricio Chief Executive Officer & Director
Carlos Arturo Abrams-Rivera President
Paulo Basilio Chief Financial Officer
Alexandre Behring da Costa Chairman
Flavio Torres Head-Global Operations
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