Target’s Good & Gather Draws Lawsuit from Atlanta Entrepreneur

Only a weeks after launching its new grocery private brand Good & Gather Minneapolis based big-box Target is being sued for trademark infringement. Emily Golub, the founder of Atlanta-based organic dinner delivery service Garnish & Gather, alleged the logo, name, and assortment in Target’s Good & Gather are too similar to the business name she trademarked in 2014 and could create confusion in the market.

Golub said she provided Target a notice of trademark infringement in August however the retailer continues with the launch of Good & Gather.

Quoted in an article for USA TODAY Emily Golub said “To me there are too many coincidences here for this to not have inspired the design of their brand, It was very upsetting when we first found out about this. To take our brand is taking everything we have built.”

Golub filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York on November 8. The filing seeks a temporary restraining order to stop the sale of food and beverage products under the Good & Gather brand. Attorneys for Target filed a motion to transfer the case to Minnesota.

According to Golub Target offered her “tens of thousands of dollars” to help with search engine optimization for Garnish & Gather but she declined.

Target spokesperson Danielle Schumann told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “At Target, we have a deep appreciation and respect for trademarks. We’re aware of this lawsuit and are confident that Target’s brands, including Good & Gather, are distinctive in the marketplace. We’ve shared that feedback with Garnish & Gather and will continue to address these claims through the legal process.”

Interestingly, Target’s Future +Food coLab launched in 2015 created in partnership with the MIT Media Lab and Ideo conceived the original Good & Gather concept for Target.

Fast Company detailed the idea in a story in early 2016.

“Seven weeks ago, as participants in the coLab were brainstorming around with the idea of transparency, they had a very simple idea: What if Target went totally literal with the concept? What if they created a line of products that came in clear packaging with a white label on the front listing every ingredient inside?

A coLab team immediately put together a prototype for a new brand called “Good + Gather” that brings this idea to life. Last Friday, they set up a booth on an aisle at a Target store by Fenway Park in downtown Boston to see how customers would respond to a range of food items—snacks, pasta, and granola—whose packages are designed to highlight their ingredients. When the products are placed next to one another on the shelf immediate contrasts emerge. The jar of peanut butter only has the words “organic roasted peanuts” in large letters on the label, but the package of cheese balls has so many ingredients squeezed onto the label in tiny lettering that it is almost impossible to read.”

The stark minimalism did not survive however the concept of better for you and minimal ingredients did emerge as a core tenant of the new Good & Gather brand.

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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.