San Antonio-based Nature Sweet sues rival alleging copy cat packaging

San Antonio-based Nature Sweet sues rival alleging copy cat packaging

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This photo shows NatureSweet Cherub Tomatoes next to Sunset’s “Angel Sweet” tomatoes.

By now you are probably familiar with the yellow and clear bubble container of NatureSweet’s tiny tomatoes, but a new lawsuit filed by the local company says another business is a little too familiar with the packaging. San Antonio-based Nature Sweet is suing Ontario-based produce company Mastronardi Produce LTD and its U.S. arm Mastronardi Produce-USA Inc. over its Sunset brand cherub tomato containers, according to a news release.

NatureSweet claims in the lawsuit that Mastronardi’s containers for its cherub tomatoes “unlawfully mimics” NatureSweet’s trademarked clear container with a yellow lid. A photo of the two products side-by-side on a produce shelf show Sunset’s packaging for its “Angel Sweet” tomatoes also uses a clear plastic container with a yellow lid. 

NatureSweet says in the complaint filed Wednesday, April 12, that Sunset only recently made the change to its packaging, which was a clear container with a thin, plastic green peel-away seal. 

“In 2021, instead of using its current design or packaging referenced on its website, defendant sought instead to mimic NatureSweet’s packaging in an effort to increase its sales via consumer confusion,” the complaint reads. 

NatureSweet filed a similar lawsuit in August 2021, and Mastronardi removed the similar packaging from store shelves. However, Sunset has released similar packaging “for a third time.” 

NatureSweet seeks any profits Mastronardi made from the packaging, removal of the packaging from store shelves, and an order permanently barring the company from using similar containers and advertising in the future. Mastronardi hasn’t responded to the lawsuit.