Walgreens Sued by Manufacturer Over Evolving Private Brand

    Leonetti’s Frozen Foods Inc a Pennsylvania frozen food manufacturer alleges it was harmed by the costs it incurred in redesigning a private brand product for Walgreens Nice! brand that was later canceled.

    Leonetti’s Frozen Foods Inc. filed a complaint on Oct. 3 in Cook County Circuit Court against Walgreen Co. alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and other counts.

    According to the complaint, the parties entered into an agreement in 2011 for the plaintiff to manufacture private brand products to the Walgreen’s specifications. The suit states by 2017, the plaintiff was only manufacturing a beef cheesesteak sandwich for the Nice! private brand. Leonetti’s alleges that Walgreens forced it to redesign the product and ingredients and then later stopped ordering the product completely.

    Leonetti’s holds Walgreens responsible because the retailer’s representatives allegedly breached its agreement by discounting the product weeks after approving the redesign and initial packaging order.

    The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks equitable relief, damages in an amount to be determined at trial, or, in the alternative, awarding restitution in an amount to be determined at trial, and requiring Walgreens disgorge all amounts by which it has been unjustly enriched. Leonetti’s is represented by David S. Almeida and Trevor J. Illes of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP in Chicago.

    Previous articleFMI Unveils Private Brands Health & Wellness Report
    Next articleWalmart Buys Bare Necessities
    Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.