Is Aldi and M&S's caterpillar conflict the strangest brand fight of 2021?

After the rollercoaster of last year, we thought nothing could surprise us in 2021. But one drama we weren't expecting was a conflict over caterpillar-shaped chocolate cakes (now there's a mouthful). Yep, two UK retailers are at loggerheads over their similarly designed (and named) confectionary – but it's clear that one brand has already won the social media war.

Marks and Spencer has launched a legal battle against Aldi, pointing out the similarities between latter's Cuthbert the Caterpillar and its own Colin the Caterpillar. But rather than hide in its cocoon, Aldi has responded in jest on Twitter. (For more amusing brand shenanigans, check out our best print ads.)

Colin the Caterpillar and Cuthbert the Caterpillar

Colin (left) and Cuthbert (right) (Image credit: Marks and Spencer/Aldi/Future owns)

According to the Independent, M&S recently launched an intellectual property complaint, claiming that Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake infringes its trademark for Colin (they're pretty similar to be fair). But as several Twitter users have pointed out, why go after Cuthbert when there are so many other copycat chocolate caterpillar cakes to consider?

Caterpillar cakes

Just a few of the caterpillar cakes available in the UK  (Image credit: Clare Martin on Twitter)

But it seems Aldi isn't too scared. Dubbing the case #FreeCuthbert, the company has shared various tweets making light of the issue, including some hilarious alternative packaging designs for Cuthbert – one of which seem him locked behind bars.

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But we do have to give M&S credit for the witty response from its social media account:

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Whatever the outcome of the case, it's fair to say that Aldi's response is an example of a brand getting social media right. For more examples, check out these 8 brands that rule on social media. And if you fancy creating your own packaging for Cuthbert the Caterpillar, you'll find today's best Adobe Creative Cloud deals below.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.