Tiger Brands strongarms tiny deli 'Jungle Foodie' into costly name change

Tiger Brands logo.

I spoke to my lawyer… He advised me that there’s no way I can fight them… What can I do?

Gerald Veldman, owner - Jungle Foodie (soon to be 'Fork in Fresh Foodbar')

Tiger Brands has over 7000 brands and trademarks… We need to protect and safeguards these brands. I don’t think we’re heavy-handed…

Mary Jane Morifi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer - Tiger Brands

With threats from lawyers, Tiger Brands has forced the owner of “Jungle Foodie” - a small deli in Observatory, Cape Town - to spend thousands of rands to change its name.

Tiger Brands, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, had revenues of R28.5 billion in the year to 30 September 2018.

It employs more than 20 000 people.

The company has trademarked the word “jungle”.

The embattled owner, Gerald Veldman, is worried about the survival of his newly established business.

He is still paying off debt and is struggling to afford the costs involved in the forced name change.

Veldman does not have funds to fight Tiger Brands in court and hopes to survive by changing the name of his deli to “Fork in Fresh Foodbar”.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Veldman and Mary Jane Morifi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Tiger Brands.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

We do breakfasts, fresh food, very healthy [food], home-made stuff... normal deli items, wraps, smoothies… We have a loyal following; a lot of regulars… They say they’ve never associated us with Tiger Brands or Jungle Oats…

Gerald Veldman, owner - Jungle Foodie (soon to be 'Fork in Fresh Foodbar')

…I received a lawyer’s letter demanding I change everything, my branding…

Gerald Veldman, owner - Jungle Foodie (soon to be 'Fork in Fresh Foodbar')

We never got the opportunity to engage with Mr Veldman… Mr Veldman did not contact us… He did send correspondence saying he’s going to change the name and branding of his company…

Gerald Veldman, owner - Jungle Foodie (soon to be 'Fork in Fresh Foodbar')

We did engage with ‘Tiger’s Milk’… there is no infringement currently… this is not only to protect ourselves, but also to protect their business…

Mary Jane Morifi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer - Tiger Brands

It’s only in food-related businesses where we would do this…

Mary Jane Morifi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer - Tiger Brands

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