According to USA Today, Kraft says it has been using the "Cracker Barrel" name on cheese since 1954. Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores didn't start opening its old-timey, country-themed restaurants until 1969. Kraft ignored the issue until now because Cracker Barrel kept to its restaurants and attached stores, and the only food products it was selling were things like sauces and pancake mixes that were only available through its stores or website.
But at the end of November Cracker Barrel signed a licensing deal with a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods to produce a Cracker Barrel deli line that would include bacon, lunchmeat, sausage, and gravy. The new line was intended to be sold at supermarkets and club stores, and Kraft Foods is having none of it.
According to the lawsuit filed on Thursday, Kraft is looking to stop Cracker Barrel from ever selling any branded food items outside of its own stores, restaurants, and website.
"Kraft hopes that this matter can be resolved without having to proceed with the litigation and has invited Cracker Barrel to propose a settlement," spokeswoman Sydney Lindner said to USA Today. "If settlement talks do not go forward, the litigation will."