A vegan food producer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit against Dunkin Donuts and Beyond Meat Thursday, claiming both companies stole the slogan for their joint sandwich from the Philadelphia company.
According to the lawsuit filed in a district court in Orlando, Florida, Vegadelphia Foods had patented the phrase “Where Great Taste is Plant-Based” through the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2015, four years prior to the release of the Dunkin and Beyond vegan sandwich’s slogan “Great Taste, Plant-Based” in 2019. The lawsuit also noted that Beyond’s request to trademark “Great Taste, Plant-Based” was rejected in 2020.
“Not only was the ‘GREAT TASTE PLANT-BASED’ slogan an imitation of Vegadelphia’s trademark, but Defendants used placement and imagery in their branding that is nearly identical to Vegadelphia’s own branding. The overlap in font style, stacked text, and even sunray background imagery, is beyond coincidence,” the suit argued.
Vegadelphia was founded in 2004 and sells plant based alternatives to beef and chicken to distributors, including in El Meson Sandwich restaurants in Puerto Rico and Florida.
Vegadelphia Foods in its lawsuit also called out both companies for the duo’s celebrity-based national ad campaign, which featured rapper Snoop Dogg asking viewers if they “want that Plant-Based Great Taste fresh out of the oven.” The food producer estimated the companies received at least $135 million in sales during the ad’s first six months through the sandwich, and even more in profits the companies received in foot traffic from the ad.
The lawsuit additionally argued that in recent years, the substitution of meatless patties and other vegan food items have become mainstream as the diets of Americans become more health-oriented, and that it was the wave of meatless options along with the catchy slogan from Vegadelphia that made Dunkin’s and Beyond’s campaign a success.
The lawsuit said the Vegadelphia was seeking reimbursement from Dunkin and Beyond for damages inflicted on the vegan food company, along with court costs, a portion of both companies’ profits and a royalty of infringing sales. It also requested a trial by jury.
Dunkins and Beyond have not responded to the lawsuit, however Vegadelphia said the silence from both companies caused it to feel that both chains thought they were above the law, according to Reuters.
Dunkin and Beyond did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s separate requests for comment, nor did Vegadelphia Foods.