Round two in the case of Colin v. Cuthbert
Amidst a whirlwind news cycle, there was one story last week that took the country by storm: the ongoing trademark battle between Colin and Cuthbert, the two chocolate caterpillar cakes that have come to symbolise more than just birthday parties.
The conflict began when M&S launched a legal case against Aldi claiming that the supermarket’s own caterpillar cake, named Cuthbert, was too similar to its original Colin cake, which came out in 1990 and has helped to mark over 15 million special occasions.
Now, after a week of memes which saw the twittersphere divided into teams #SaveColin and #FreeCuthbert, the story has snowballed as Skegness family resort Fantasy Island tweeted on Monday that it would be suspending rides on its Crazy Caterpillar ride “in an effort not to offend #MarksandSpencer and to stand in solidarity with #Aldi”.
The post on Facebook garnered 11,000 reactions and nearly 4000 comments. This came the day before Aldi reached out to Marks and Spencer on Twitter asking for a truce.
The supermarket said: “Can Colin and Cuthbert be besties?” According to the BBC Aldi had stopped selling the Cuthbert cake in February, two months before M&S took legal action against it for infringing on its trademark.
Now Aldi wants to bring back a limited edition Cuthbert for charity, donating profits to cancer charities including Marks and Spencer partners Teenage Cancer Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support. “Let’s raise money for charity, not lawyers,” Aldi said.
Marks and Spencer soon replied saying that while they “love” a charity idea, they want Aldi to use their own character. “How about #kevinthecarrotcake ?” Marks and Spencer tweeted, “That idea’s on us and we promise we won’t do Keith.”
On Tuesday Aldi continued its campaign calling on Curly (Tesco), Clyde (Asda), Cecil (Waitrose), Charlie (Co-op), Morris (Morrisons) and Wiggles (Sainsburys) to club together to raise money for charity. Asda replied that it was on board, as did Waitrose. “Cecil is a caterpillar of the community,” said Waitrose.
But will the other caterpillars stay united as it was announced on Tuesday that Co-op’s Charlie the Caterpillar was given full marks by independent product review service Which? in a taste-test of the chocolate cakes. Cuthbert was not part of the taste-test as the product is not currently in stock.
One of the judges said: “It’s easily the best. It’s moist, spongy and a clear winner with the most flavour.” Customers and fans can only watch with bated breath. What will happen next, and when, if at all, will the gavel fall?