Cracker Barrel said it was “understandably disappointed” with the court’s ruling

Cracker Barrel said it was “understandably disappointed” with the court’s ruling

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBOCS) could appeal a ruling blocking the US restaurant chain launching branded grocery products.

In February, Kraft Foods Group hit CBOCS with a lawsuit after the chain announced plans to market a range of products in supermarkets through a venture with Smithfield Foods.

In a filing at the District Court of Northern Illinois, Kraft said it had been producing and selling Cracker Barrel cheese in the US since 1954. It said the only Cracker Barrel branded products offered at grocery stores have come exclusively from Kraft or licensed by the company.

US District Judge Robert Gettleman has issued a preliminary injunction blocking CBOCS from selling packaged meats and other food products in grocery stores. He said Kraft's trademark was "indisputably strong" because it has been in use since 1957, over a decade before the first Cracker Barrel restaurant opened in 1969, according to USA Today.

A spokesperson for CBOCS told just-food it was "understandably disappointed" with the court's ruling on the preliminary injunction.

"While we respect the court's ruling, we will explore all of our legal options, including a possible appeal of the preliminary injunction. We continue to stand firm in our belief of the merits of our case. We are convinced the marketplace understands and recognises the differences in the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store brand and Kraft's Cracker Barrel cheese. We are not selling cheese or any cheese-based products."

A spokesperson for Kraft said the company felt it had a "strong case" and so was "pleased" with the decision.

"The Cracker Barrel brand is extremely important to our business and we will vigorously protect our trademark in retail channels," she said.