Grillo’s Pickles, which began in Boston in 2008 and is now distributed nationwide, has filed a lawsuit against Wahlburger’s re: packaged pickles sold by Wahlburgers in grocery stores. The popular burger chain, started by Dorchester’s own Wahlberg family, markets its pickles as “all natural.”
Grillo’s is arguing in a lawsuit filed this week that the Wahlburgers pickles do contain artificial preservatives, and this is not reflected on their packaging.
See press release below:
Wahlburgers pickles’ labels fail to disclose substantial amounts of a chemical preservative
BOSTON, Jan. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Grillo’s Pickles, Inc. has filed federal Lanham Act and common law unfair competition claims in the state of New Jersey against Patriot Pickle Inc., ARKK Food Company and Wahlburgers I, LLC for misleading consumers and retailers by labeling and marketing Wahlburgers pickles as “fresh,” “all natural” and containing “no preservatives” when, to the contrary, Wahlburgers pickles contain an artificial chemical preservative. Unlike Grillo’s all-natural pickles, recent lab tests reveal Wahlburgers pickles contain considerable amounts of benzoic acid, which is often added into foods via sodium benzoate – an artificial chemical preservative designed to lengthen pickles’ shelf life. However, Wahlburgers pickles do not include the ingredient on the brand’s labels. The amount of preservative found in Wahlburgers pickles far exceeds a trace amount, indicating it was added to these products despite what is claimed on their labels.
The alleged false and misleading labeling of Wahlburgers pickles, combined with similar packaging and near identical taste to Grillo’s, has harmed Grillo’s Pickles by diverting customers and grocery buyers away from Grillo’s and to Wahlburgers. As a result, Grillo’s is asking the court for preliminary and permanent injunctions as well as treble damages.
“In positioning its products as ‘fresh’ and containing ‘no preservatives,’ our competitor is effectively duping consumers and retailers, especially those who are actively seeking all-natural food products with clean labels,” said Adam Kaufman, President of Grillo’s Pickles. “Like our customers, we understand and value the importance of ingredient transparency.”
Founded with the help of a 100-year-old family recipe, Grillo’s Pickles are made with simple, real and garden-fresh ingredients. Grillo’s fresh Pickles and Pickle de Gallo can be found in the refrigerated section of grocery stores nationwide.
For people who want freshness, Grillo’s is the pickle company that is changing the game. Grillo’s uses only clean, garden-fresh ingredients to make deliciously simple foods that deliver all the crunchy, tangy, satisfying flavor you’ve been searching for with none of the junk. How do we do it? Our products are made cold, shipped cold and sold cold. So, you get an incredible crunch, and we never have to mess with artificial preservatives. The only thing traditional about us is our 100-year-old family recipe. The rest? It’s fresh. Grillo’s offers mouthwatering bites nationwide for sweet, spicy and sour flavor seekers, with a selection of chips, wholes, spears and Pickle de Gallo.
Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Co-host of Caught Up, storyteller, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.
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