Checkers spars with Pick n Pay over new range

A dispute between Shoprite Holdings, owner of Checkers, and rival retailer Pick n Pay over packaging colours could head for the courts unless it is resolved soon,

A Forest & Feast selection

Shoprite has objected to the colour of Pick n Pay’s The Crafted Collection, saying it is too similar to its own Forage & Feast brand. Both products have deep navy-blue packaging. Pick n Pay has its logo on the products,  Checkers does not.

According to the the Financial Mail, Pick n Pay asked for an extension of a process to resolve the dispute. Checkers agreed to a deadline of August 24 before asking a court to decide.

Shoprite declined to comment. Pick n Pay says there is no basis for the allegations by Checkers. “These products will never be on the shelf together with those of another supermarket, so there is no chance of any customer confusion,” Pick n Pay says.

 The Crafted Collection is a new range under Pick n Pay’s “private label” that was introduced in 1976 with its “no name” range. “Our previous premium range Finest included gold print with a black background,” says Pick n Pay. “In keeping with the latest global premium packaging trends, we introduced blue as many international retailers have done.” It says blue is “strongly associated with the Pick n Pay brand”.

Pick n Pay recently announced a tiered approach to its various customer markets. This week the retailer announced the name of its “Project Red” supermarkets: Pick n Pay QualiSave, serving lower- to middle-income customers with an emphasis on essential food and groceries.    

Pick n Pay’s private label range now accounts for 25% of its sales, up from 18% five years ago. The Crafted Collection by Pick n Pay was launched last month and it plans to stock this at revamped stores that serve middle- to top-end customers. The range includes infused olive oil, vinegars, preserves and snacks.

 For the past few years Checkers has been making inroads into the upper end of the market — traditionally Woolworths’ turf — and Forage & Feast has been part of it. It launched Forage & Feast in November 2020 in association with Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, one of the first SA chefs to obtain a Michelin star. Forage & Feast now includes 216 products across 34 categories. Over the next 12 months 100 new products will be added.           

The Crafted Collection by PnP has about 70 products and another 100 are expected by the end of the year. For now, the range focuses on food and groceries, but will extend to other categories, it says. According to Pick n Pay, 90% of the range will be locally produced.

 One commentator says it’s difficult to prove that Pick n Pay and Checkers customers are confused over the similar colours, but that it’s an international trend to use deep blue: “Blue is the new black.” Another retail expert says the two main colours in retail are red and blue.

Source: Financial Mail