No, it’s not Wagatha Christie but a showdown over one of Britain’s best loved modern creations: Colin the Caterpillar.
If you’ve ever celebrated a colleague or classmate’s birthday in work or at school – or, let’s be honest, just ever had a birthday – you’ll have had a slice of Colin.
The Marks & Spencer cake – which is topped with chocolate sweets and a smiling white chocolate face – has become such a household name that he has inspired a few of what can only be described as, err, similar creations, with Aldi also selling a chocolate-covered sponge called Cuthbert the Caterpillar.
But M&S is not having any cousin of Colin out there languishing at a rival store– Connie the Caterpillar is another of Colin’s crew, and she lives firmly on the shelves of M&S – and has now lodged a complaint with the High Court claiming that Aldi’s version “rides on the coat-tails” of their 30-year product.
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M&S wants Aldi to remove the product from sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future. It says the legal action is a bid to “protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.”
Hear, hear. Or is it? The whole debacle has really ruffled the internet’s feathers, with the country divided on whether the move is a) good for Colin and its special status as the nation’s sweetheart or b) bad news for those wanting a cheaper and – whisper it – equally delicious alternative.
But most importantly, it’s got people sharing some great memes...
Some felt protective towards Cuthbert.
Others were clearly on Colin’s side
And some wondered whether M&S had brought it on themselves...
Others had some good ideas for how Aldi could get around the issue.
There were also those who couldn’t help but wonder why M&S had picked on Aldi when similar cakes including Waitrose’s Cecil, Sainsbury’s Wiggles, Tesco’s Curly, and Asda’s Clyde the Caterpillar also exist.
And those who issued warnings for other products with similar brand names...
One journalist used it as a chance to rank all the alternatives in order of preference – it makes for a very interesting read.
Others are just predicting that, well, the whole thing is going to be a very big deal.
Aldi even responded with a whole thread on the issue – which was very much in keeping with the tickled mood of the nation.
As for why Aldi has been singled out, we don’t know the answer to that one. But what we do know is that Colin needs to be protected at all costs. We want our cake – and we’ll eat it too.