Aldi Under Fire Again for Freezecakes Copyright Clash

Category

Branding

Read Time

4 min

Published

11 April, 2024

It looks like Aldi is in the firing line once again over yet another copyright issue.

The angry brand this time is Freezecakes, which are frozen cheesecakes served in a tub.

The product is produced by dessert brand Pleese, which is based in Redhill in Surrey.

Now anyone that reads the news will be familiar with the number of complaints made against Aldi for cutting it very fine when it comes to copying other brands.

Copycat, Copycat, Sitting on the Doormat

Even walking down the aisle, it’s questionable how they get away with some of their products as they look SO similar to the original designs.

Well Managing Director, Joe Moruzzi, at Freezecakes was not impressed to say the least, claiming the supermarket chain had released products using an almost identical name, slogan, and types of flavours.

And whilst I must admit I can definitely spot the difference between the two products, the actual idea of the product i.e. it being made out of 40% cheese, and the slogan ‘it’s not ice cream’ are a direct rip-off from the original.

Aldi vs Freezecakes product

Aldi have of course fought their corner, with a spokesperson from the supermarket claiming they follow the rules:

We go to great lengths to ensure that all our own exclusive Aldi brand products adhere to strict copyright guidelines. – Aldi spokesperson

However in retaliation, Mr Moruzzi said the name Freezecakes and its slogan “It’s not ice cream” were in fact trademarked.

Stepping Over Small Businesses

Adding to this, he highlighted his disappointment and how he felt ‘disheartened’ by the supermarket chain after their small team had worked so hard to bring the product to the market.

To put it into perspective, Aldi is the UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain with more than 1,000 stores and 45,000 members of staff whereas Pleese employs 5 people.

Trying to find some sort of silver lining, Mr Moruzzi said at least this would leader to greater brand awareness and more attention on this product category – however, it shouldn’t be through this type of means.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, it’s not the first time Aldi have tried their hand at something like this.

Pick on Someone Your Own Size

Let’s cast our minds back to when Aldi nicked Brewdog’s Punk IPA, but it turned out quite nicely for both brands!

Aldi and Brewdog cans on shop shelf

It all started as a bit of banter of Twitter with customers highlighting the similarities between Aldi’s Anti-Establishment beer and BrewDog’s Punk IPA.

At first, BrewDog suggested it would create ‘Yaldi IPA’ in a mocking social media post.

However, the supermarket, which is known for its ‘like-for-like brands’ approach responded with: ‘We would have gone with ALD IPA, send us a crate and we’ll talk…’

The crate must have done the trick, because Aldi exclusively launched BrewDog’s ‘ALD IPA’ in stores.

Supermarket Stand-off

But it’s not just Aldi who’ve come under fire lately.

It’s brother/sister company Lidl have also been embroiled in a war with Tesco, over a dispute around the Tesco Clubcard design being too similar to the Lidl logo.

It all started when Tesco began using a yellow circle design set on a blue background to promote their Clubcard offering. Lidl’s logo has a very similar design but with an added red outline around the circle and their brand name across the centre.

After a lot of back and forth that dated back to 2020, Tesco have reluctantly been forced into updating their design, a rebrand that is estimated to cost them £7.8m. Ouch.

Have supermarkets ran out of creative ideas these days?

So much so that they’ve resorted to just copying other brands?

It’s a hefty risk to take a big price to pay (i.e. Tesco) if the brand files against you.

Tut tut Supermarkets, think of your own designs.

Image credits:
Joe Moruzzi / UK Newest Foods
Aldi Press Office

Hi, I'm Amy, Content Strategist at Canny. In my day-to-day role, I'm responsible for creating content that gets you noticed and makes you stand out from the competition. Naturally, I love writing and creating engaging copy that brings your brand to life.

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