March 12, 2015

Chicago Mix redux

Back in August I noted that several companies other than Minnesota-based trademark holder Candyland were using "Chicago Mix" for a blend of caramel and cheese popcorn, and argued that the term was generic.  Most of these companies have renamed their products since then, presumably after receiving a demand letter from Candyland:
  • Utz - changed from "Chicago-Style" to "Midwest-Style" (described as "freshly popped Chicago-style popcorn")
  • Nuts on Clark - changed from "Chicago Mix" to "Caramelcorn & Cheesecorn Mix" (with "Chicago" on the tin)
  • Brooklyn Popcorn - changed from "Chicago Mix" to "Windy-City Mix"
  • Popcorn Haven - changed from "Chicago Style" to "Cheese & Caramel Mix"
  • The Popcorn Fanatic - changed from "Chicago Mix" to "Windy City Mix"
  • Great American Popcorn Co. - changed from "Chicago Mix" to "CR Mix"

But a few companies either didn't get the memo or decided to stand up for Chicago-style popcorn connoisseurs:

The three companies that Candyland sued were Garrett Popcorn Shops, Cornfields (G.H. Cretors) and Snyder's-Lance (O-Ke-Doke). Of the three, only Garrett has changed the name of its Chicago Mix product, and claims it was planning to do that anyway. (It's now "Garrett Mix.") As far as I can tell, Cornfields and Snyder's still use the "Chicago Mix" name.