Confectioners Battle over Packaging Colour
Lithographic, Screen and Digital printing have enabled brands to find the perfect shade for their packaging design.
In the case of the UK’s leading chocolate company, Pantone 2865c was selected as the colour of choice. Titled ‘Cadbury’s Purple’, it has been printed on chocolate wrappers, packets, boxes and merchandise for decades.
Purple isn’t widely used for food products; however, the colour is associated with luxury, royalty and indulgence. It has been suggested that the Cadbury Brothers selected this specific shade of purple as a tribute to Queen Victoria. The brand was even given a royal warrant in 1854, when it was formally recognised as the chocolate of choice for the monarch.
In terms of brand recognition, the colour is widely associated with Cadbury chocolate packaging. Think Dairy Milk, Milk Tray or Cadbury’s hot chocolate and that rich purple will come to mind. It stands out on the shelf and looks extravagant, but could all this be about to change?
The Case of the Purple Packaging
Back in 2012, Cadbury’s won a case, which prevented other confectioners from using their purple. At the time, the decision was subject to an appeal by Nestle, who include purple wrappings in Quality Street, but this was initially overturned.
Fearing that they could be forced to remove purple from their chocolates, Nestle wasn’t knocked back at the first hurdle. They returned to fight the case again on the grounds that the description of the 1995 trademark is too broad. In 2018, the courts have agreed that the Cadbury Purple trademark is unenforceable.
As this specific purple is so widely associated with Cadbury, it is unlikely that other confectioners will suddenly start branding all of their products in the same colour, but they could.
Interestingly, the current owners of the Cadbury brand, Mondelez International, also own Milka, which has a trademark for a different shade of purple. We’re certain thorough checks have been undertaken to ensure that can’t come under threat.
There are other brands which have a strong association with a specific colour. Sainsbury’s selected orange, O2 went for blue, whilst Richard Branson chose red for Virgin products and services. Whiskas cat food has a trademark on the pink shade, Pantone 248c. Their hold over these colours only applies in the case of protecting it from use by direct competitors.
If your brand is identifiable by a specific tone, you may wish to look into whether you can prevent your competitors from adopting the same shade. Equally, if you are about to embark on a branding exercise, it’s advisable to check you are not going to accidentally put your company at risk of legal action.
Whether a favoured colour or a protected trademark, modern printing methods mean that an exact match can be printed. Simply let Aylesbury Box Company know which shade you want to be applied to your product packaging, Point of Sale displays, delivery boxes and packaging inserts and we’ll get printing.
We are happy to recommend suitable print processes for your requirements. We can also provide print samples prior to you placing a full order. Whatever colour you opt for, Aylesbury Box Company can fulfil your printed packaging requirements, so get in touch on 01296 436888.