Aldi fires back in M&S war by announcing return of cake for charity

‘Can Colin and Cuthbert be besties?’ Aldi fires back in caterpillar war with M&S by announcing return of its Cuthbert cake for charity amid copyright row

  • Discount supermarket chain said limited edition of cake will return next month
  • It said all profits will be donated to cancer charities and called on others to join 
  • Aldi tweeted: ‘Let’s raise money for charity, not lawyers #caterpillarsforcancer’
  • It follows M&S lodging intellectual property claim with the High Court last week

Aldi has fired back in its caterpillar war with Marks & Spencer by announcing the return of its Cuthbert cake amid the supermarkets’ copyright row.

Posting its latest response to the row on Twitter, the German discounter, which has over 900 stores in the UK, announced a limited edition of the cake will return to shelves next month with all profits to be donated to cancer charities.

M&S lodged an intellectual property claim with the High Court last week, arguing the similarity of Aldi’s product leads consumers to believe they are of the same standard and ‘ride on the coat-tails’ of M&S’ reputation with the product. 

Aldi’s post reads: ‘Hey Marks and Spencer we’re taking a stand against caterpillar cruelty. Can Colin and Cuthbert be besties? 

‘We’re bringing back a limited edition Cuthbert next month and want to donate all profits to cancer charities including your partners Macmillan Cancer Support and ours Teenage Cancer Trust.  


M&S lodged an intellectual property claim with the High Court last week, arguing the similarity of Aldi’s product (pictured right) to its Colin the Caterpillar cake (left) leads consumers to believe they are of the same standard

The German discounter, which has over 900 stores in the UK, announced a limited edition of the cake will return to shelves next month with all profits to be donated to cancer charities

Aldi also called on other supermarkets to join it and M&S in raising money for cancer charities through the sale of caterpillar cake, with Waitrose & Partners replying: ‘Count us in!’

‘Let’s raise money for charity, not lawyers #caterpillarsforcancer.’

Aldi also called on other supermarkets to join it and M&S in raising money for cancer charities through the sale of caterpillar cakes. 

Waitrose & Partners replied: ‘Cecil is a caterpillar of the community… count us in!’

M&S wants Aldi to remove the product from sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future.

Aldi’s social media team promptly responded with a stream of posts about the upcoming legal challenge and a sketch of Cuthbert in court.

Starting off by mocking M&S’ slogan, the budget supermarket tweeted: ‘This is not just any court case, this is… #FreeCuthbert.’

Aldi further announced a ‘packaging update’, showing Cuthbert locked up in a prison cell and then tweeted: ‘Marks & Snitches more like.’ 

On Friday, the budget supermarket even joked online that it was planning to pitch a ten-part documentary to Netflix with the title ‘Making a Caterpillar’, a reference to the popular series Making a Murderer. 

Another tweet showed a jokey court sketch of Cuthbert the Caterpillar flanked by guards, along with the hashtag ‘FreeCuthbert’

In a series of Twitter posts, the budget supermarket made fun of its rival after they launched an intellectual property claim with the High Court last week

On Friday, Aldi joked online that they were planning to pitch a ten-part documentary to Netflix with the title ‘Making a Caterpillar’

Twitter users also got in on the fun by sharing hilarious memes, with #CaterpillarWars and #FreeCuthbert trending.

Some wrote that other supermarket’s caterpillar cakes – such as Sainsbury’s Wiggles for £6 and Tesco’s Curly the Caterpillar – will form a jury to help.

Others have used a meme of Oprah made popular by Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s interview, asking Colin the Caterpillar if he was ‘silent or silenced’. 

Social media users even joked the cakes will appear on the now defunct Jeremy Kyle show to resolve their issues.

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.

Morrisons also joined the trend joking their cake Morris was in disguise to not get caught

One Twitter user joked that Netflix would be making a documentary about the trial of the cakes

Some have joked other supermarket’s caterpillar cakes – such as Sainsbury’s Wiggles for £6 and Tesco Curly the Caterpillar – will form a jury to help

Others joked that M&S new ‘cake in the jar’ in the Colin variety was ‘sent to Cuthbert as a warning’

Some have used the meme made popular by Harry’s and Meghan’s Oprah interview, asking the cakes if they were ‘silent or silenced’

One Twitter user shared a picture of a caterpillar cake in legal gear joking they were the lawyer

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

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

Nevertheless, the M&S original has spawned a range of imitators since its launch, such as Sainsbury’s Wiggles, Tesco’s Curly, Morris by Morrisons, the Co-op’s Charlie, Cecil by Waitrose and Asda’s Clyde.

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.

‘We want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.’

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