The New England-based burrito chain Boloco has been selling a yogurt and Nutella milkshake for fourteen years without a problem. All that came to an end last week, however, when the Italian manufacturer Ferraro sent Boloco chief executive John Pepper a warning letter. "BREAKING … ," Pepper tweeted, "After 14 yrs as their faithful advocate, Nutella’s lawyers have sent us an immediate cease & desist on the use of their name."
The Citizen Media Law Project reports (via Techdirt) the central issue is how the shake, made with Nutella, skim milk, and frozen yogurt, is prepared. Pepper says that the brand is cool with him using their product at his restaurants, it’s just that they "don’t endorse the use of Nutella or the Nutella brand in frozen beverages." Perhaps the company is trying to avoid another class-action lawsuit filed by people who think Nutella is good for you.
The Citizen Media Law Project points out that because the Boloco restaurants don’t say they have an affiliation with Nutella, the brand’s claim might not hold up in court. At this time, negotiations between the two parties seem to have stalled, and the milkshakes may be renamed, or will be made with an altogether different chocolate-hazelnut spread. Either way, the milkshakes won’t stop.