UK

M&S caught out selling chocolate matches almost identical to ones dreamed up by small family firm 

A perfect match! M&S agree to stock small family firm’s chocolate matches after being caught out selling their own near-identical version

  • Flo Broughton founded ‘Choc on Choc’ 20 years ago with her father Kerr Dunlop
  • The company launched its £8 Perfect Match Chocolate Gift Box in 2015
  • M&S launched their own chocolate matchsticks for Valentine’s Day this year
  • But the retail giant has now agreed to sell Ms Broughton’s product 


Marks & Spencer are partnering with a family-run confectionary company which makes chocolate matches for Valentine’s Day – after they were accused of copying the small firm by selling a nearly identical product.      

Flo Broughton founded ‘Choc on Choc’ 20 years ago with her father Kerr Dunlop straight after she graduated from University of the West of England, Bristol, with a degree in Graphic Design at the age of 24. 

The company, based in Bath, Somerset, began with just 12 designs, eventually growing to offer more than 200 – including the £8 Perfect Match Chocolate Gift Box featuring the chocolate matchstick, which launched in 2015.  

So Ms Broughton was taken aback when M&S started selling their own ‘strikingly similar’ £3 matches for February 14th this year. 

But after she wrote about the resemblance on social media on Friday and Saturday, M&S met with Choc on Choc on Sunday and the retail giant has now committed to sell the Bath-based family-run company’s chocolate matchsticks. 

Flo Broughton’s company Choc on Choc began with just 12 designs, eventually growing to offer more than 200 – including the £8 Perfect Match Chocolate Gift Box featuring the chocolate matches, which launched in 2015

Left: The Marks & Spencer 'Perfect Match' chocolate set launched this year. Right: Choc on Choc's version, which launched in 2015

Left: The Marks & Spencer ‘Perfect Match’ chocolate set launched this year. Right: Choc on Choc’s version, which launched in 2015

Ms Broughton said: ‘My initial reaction was just frustration because we’re so small. It was much more galling. M&S is such an iconic British business – it just felt like I should say something. To be honest I really didn’t expect to be heard.

Pictured: The M&S chocolate matchstick

Pictured: The M&S chocolate matchstick

‘It really hit the pit of my stomach this time. And I just felt it wasn’t right.’

Ms Broughton said it was a customer who spotted the striking similarity between M&S’s box of £3 chocolate matchsticks and the company’s £8 Perfect Match Chocolate Gift Box, and alerted them to the product.

The Choc on Choc product is comprised of white chocolate matches with red ends and ‘perfect match’ written on them.

Ms Broughton said she received thousands of supportive messages from customers and other small companies after calling out the retailer on social media.

Ms Broughton said: ‘After posting about the copying on social media on Friday and Saturday, M&S contacted me and said they wanted to resolve this.

‘On Sunday lunchtime we had a video conferencing call and came to an agreement.

‘They were keen to do the right thing and resolve the issue.’

Flo Broughton's chocolate matchstick. An M&S spokesman said: 'We take IP (intellectual property) very seriously and when we saw Choc on Choc's social media posts we immediately got in touch'

Flo Broughton’s chocolate matchstick. An M&S spokesman said: ‘We take IP (intellectual property) very seriously and when we saw Choc on Choc’s social media posts we immediately got in touch’

Flo Broughton founded 'Choc on Choc' 20 years ago with her father Kerr Dunlop (both pictured) straight after she graduated from University of the West of England, Bristol, with a degree in Graphic Design at the age of 24

Flo Broughton founded ‘Choc on Choc’ 20 years ago with her father Kerr Dunlop (both pictured) straight after she graduated from University of the West of England, Bristol, with a degree in Graphic Design at the age of 24

An M&S spokesman said: ‘We take IP (intellectual property) very seriously and when we saw Choc on Choc’s social media posts we immediately got in touch.

‘Choc on Choc is a fantastic company producing quality chocolates and we’re delighted to be working with them through our small supplier programme going forwards.’

M&S has said it will sell the Choc on Choc matchsticks for Valentine’s Day and will also sell its products for Mother’s Day and Easter.

Advertisement


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button