A shop owner got in a "piggy pickle" with Marks & Spencer over his ice cream flavour name - and has since had a Lidl help from a supermarket rival.
Fabio Vincenti and his wife Hannah run the independent family business, Fabio's Gelato based in Hitchin and Letchworth and he recently created a new flavour based on M&S's popular Percy Pig sweets.
However, this caught the attention of the retailers who sent Fabio a letter, requesting him to not to use 'Percy Pig' or anything similar for the flavour name, as the gelato is not an official M&S product.
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"While we are flattered that you have been inspired to create a flavour based on our Percy Pig sweets, and in no way wish to stop you selling this flavour or from using our sweets to top it, we would be grateful if you could avoid using the name Percy Pig to do so," the letter from M&S read.
“Percy Pig is one of our ‘’hero’’ brands and we own trade marks to protect it. We risk losing those trade marks (and more importantly to us, consumers will no longer be confident Percy Pig-branded products originate from M&S) if we do not take steps to stop others from using them without our permission.
"We hope you understand how important it is for us to protect our brand. However, we also understand that mistakes are easily made in this area and we are keen to resolve this amicably," it added, noting the don't have a problem with the new flavour, but just the name of it since it's trademarked.
Fabio’s was also asked to confirm it had changed the name of the ice cream within 14 days.
Since then, Lidl have weighed in and has given Fabio permission to use the name of its hippo-shaped sweets.
In the letter, Lidl wrote: "Hello Fabio, we’ve been reading all about your ‘piggy pickle’ and wanted to reach out for a ‘Lidl’ inspiration for your next flavour courtesey of our very own ‘Henry Hippo."
“Sending you a bumper load to work your gelato magic with. What’s more we’d be simply honoured if you were to name it ‘Henry Hippo ice cream’!"
In an Instagram post, Fabio’s Gelato said: “What an amazing letter to receive. We can now make a bumper load of delicious Henry Hippo Gelato thanks to all the goodies they sent.
“We hope everyone who’s come in to try the flavour has enjoyed it as much as we have.”
To which Lidl replied: "Happy to help keep the Gelato train running!"
Lidl have since been praised for the move by people online.
One person wrote: "This is an amazing bit of marketing for Lidl - hats off!"
"That's awesome! Congratulations! Loving that Lidl GB are embracing & supporting the concept," another person said.
Someone else added: "Brilliant! That’s a marketing department that knows what they’re doing."
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