Judge Blocks Cracker Barrel From Grocery Shelf



A federal judge in Chicago has temporarily blocked Cracker Barrel Old Country Store from selling branded meats and other food items in grocery stores.

The lawyers of the restaurant chain indicated they plan to appeal U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman’s ruling issued Monday.

Cracker Barrel (CBRL) was seeking to broaden its portfolio of packaged food items — mainly hams and other meats — and start selling them through supermarkets, club stores and other retailers. Grocery sales are part of Cracker Barrel’s strategy to expand its brand beyond its 600-plus restaurants and stores. The chain has signed a licensing agreement with John Morrell & Co. for ham, bacon and other meats.

But food giant Kraft Foods (KRFT) is suing to block the move, saying it would infringe on Kraft’s trademarked Cracker Barrel brand cheese and confuse consumers.

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