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Trader Joe’s (Soon to Open in Fort Collins) And ConAgra Sued Over Peanut Butter Pretzels

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

I’ve only been into a Trader Joe’s supermarket a couple times, and none of them were in Colorado.  So of course I’m excited that Fort Collins is getting its very own Trader Joe’s on October 1st.  I just hope I’ll still be able to get one of my favorite snacks there by then.

Peanut butter-filled pretzels are one of my weaknesses.  Incredibly delicious and hopelessly addictive, I can never just have one or two of them.  Apparently, a lot of people feel the same way, because peanut butter pretzels are a multi-million-dollar industry, according to NPR.

With so much money on the line, it’s not altogether surprising to learn that Trader Joe’s is being sued for allegedly creating a peanut butter pretzel monopoly.

The plaintiff is Maxim Marketing, a Southern California company that claims to have invented the peanut butter pretzel in the early 1980s. And for more than 25 years, Maxim claims, it supplied the grocery chain with the snack, which is sold under the private Trader Joe’s label. But Maxim says the retailer switched suppliers to packaged food giant ConAgra Foods, unfairly cutting it out of the business it pioneered.

The lawsuit also states that with ConAgra having bought all the factories that produce the pretzels, Trader Joe’s and ConAgra have created a monopoly, shutting them out of $9M in revenue.

[via The Salt : NPR.]

Normally, I’d say a lawsuit like this is just silly; but it looks like Maxim Marketing is losing a lot of money from this change.  Hmm.

Well, in any case, this doesn’t make me any less excited for Trader Joe‘s to finally open in Fort Collins!

How do you feel?

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