North America’s integrated-agriculture company NatureSweet has filed its third unfair competition lawsuit against Mastronardi Produce and Mastronardi Produce-USA.

NatureSweet has alleged that Mastronardi Produce has “once again” copied the licensed packaging of its highly-successful small tomato pack, CHERUBS.

NatureSweet claimed that this has led to confusion among consumers.

As per the complaint, Mastronardi Produce has introduced a newly-designed package that has a transparent plastic dome and a yellow lid.

NatureSweet called this “a blunt strategy” from Mastronardi to try and confuse the consumers. NatureSweet claimed that similar attempts have also been made previously in 2021 and 2022.

However, Mastronardi discontinued the use of previously mimicked packaging designs after lawsuits were filed, according to NatureSweet.

NatureSweet CEO and president Rodolfo Spielmann said: “At NatureSweet, we feel an obligation to protect our customers and consumers since we are committed to delivering the best quality products on a consistent basis.

“Because of that, consumers and customers have rewarded us with more than three times the sales compared to our next competitor. We are surprised that when we invest millions of dollars in marketing in our brand which drove category growth, others would need to resort to copying our known packaging to confuse consumers and draft on our investment.”

NatureSweet said it will continue to protect its intellectual property, brand and packaging, which the say is recognised by its customers.

According to NatureSweet, it has specifically asked the court to take appropriate measures to ensure that Mastronardi discontinues the use of its new packaging for selling its own grape tomato products.

Spielmann added: “After years of significant research, resources, and investment, NatureSweet has developed its unique assets for the brand. This is an issue of trust and integrity for NatureSweet, our associates, customers and consumers.”