It’s the cake drama of the decade. UK retailer Marks & Spencer is suing discount supermarket chain Aldi over the likeness between its Colin the Caterpillar cake and the latter’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake. The feud has been heating up on social media, and now popular vegan burger chain Biffs has got involved. Colin and Cuthbert are now joined by Nooch, a caterpillar made with vegan cheeseburgers.
With a play on M&S’s famous catchphrase, Biffs recently posted about Nooch on Instagram: “This isn’t just any caterpillar… This is Nooch the Burgerpillar.”
The “Burgerpillar” body was made with crispy fried jackfruit burgers, while the feet and face were moulded from vegan cheese sauce. Biffs added: “We’re not sure if a burgerpillar is gonna set off the [Marks & Spencer’s] lawyers, but if they wanna come down to Biff’s HQ, we’d happily make them one.”
According to Christa Bloom-Burrows, Biffs’ co-founder and marketing director, the chain is always on a mission to create food that is “creative, fun, and a little bit unexpected,” so a vegan caterpillar burger was a perfect fit.
She told LIVEKINDLY: “After following the Colin vs Cuthbert drama we wondered if it would be possible to create a ‘Colin cake’ out of burgers and we all instantly agreed we had to try! The burger body was a no-brainer – we used four of our classic Crispy Fried Jackfruit burgers – but for the face and feet we had to really flex our kitchen muscles.”
“In the end we used a version of our Beer Cheeze sauce, poured into cake moulds and froze it,” she explained. “We weren’t sure how it would turn out, but it worked surprisingly well; and with a vegan cheese face we knew he had to be called Nooch.”
M&S’s Colin the Caterpillar Cake Battle
Biffs isn’t the only UK business to imitate M&S’s famous Colin the Caterpillar cake, which first came to the market in 1990. (The chain also has another pink version of the cake, called Connie.) Clearly, Aldi has also made a copycat(erpillar) version, but so has pretty much every other UK supermarket. For Waitrose, there’s Cecil, Tesco has Curly, and Asda’s version is named Clyde.
For that reason, some experts are saying M&S may struggle to win its case against Aldi.
Gary Assim, an intellectual property specialist, told the BBC: “M&S may find their case against Aldi difficult, since there are other caterpillar cakes on the market. They should have taken a zero-tolerance approach from the start if they felt that Colin and Connie were so important to them.”
At the moment, Aldi is taking the legal situation in good humour, posting amusing memes based on the situation across social media. It’s even pledged to relaunch Cuthbert, with all the proceeds going to charity. In response, a spokesperson for M&S Tweeted: “We love a charity idea (Colin’s been a BIG fundraiser for years). We just want you to use your own character.”
While Colin has many clones, so far, Biff’s Nooch the Burgerpillar is the only one made with vegan burgers. At the moment, Nooch is just a one-off, but Bloom-Burrows noted that due to his popularity, the burgerpillar may be available to order in the future.
“We’ve been really surprised by how much love Nooch has received, I think because a ‘Colin’ cake is such a staple in the UK,” she said.
“Everyone is desperate to try him and we’ve had so many people saying they’d love to eat him for their next birthday party or celebration instead of a regular cake,” she continued. “At the moment he’s just a one-off, and we think he’d be pretty difficult to deliver in one piece through one of our Biff’s Delivery joints. But the demand has been so huge, maybe he will make it on to our dine-menus one day!”
If you want to find out more about Biffs, check out its website here.