Weetabix seller disobeys food giant

Published:  24 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: UK, New Zealand, England
As reported by the New Zealand Herald, a shopkeeper in Nelson has told Sanitarium to leave him in peace after the company threatened him with legal action for vending a UK cereal to homesick expatriates.

Bob Wren received the menacing letter after Sanitarium officials visited his shop and demanded that he quit selling Weetabix, a UK equivalent of the New Zealand firm’s Weet-Bix. The shop, English Bob's, stocks UK products to sell to expatriates.

Mr Wren was also instructed to quit selling a UK version of Marmite, since doing so was considered misleading trade conduct - despite the exact same product being offered in supermarkets.

In an official letter sent earlier this month, Stephen Andrews, Sanitarium's commercial manager, told Mr Wren that unless he quit selling Weetabix and English Marmite, he may be taken to court.
Mr Andrews told Mr Wren that he had until Friday to comply. But Mr Wren argued that his store had run out of Marmite long ago, and he only sold one or two packs of Weetabix per week.

He argued that his “tiny shop” was struggling to survive, trying to provide “a little comfort food” to British expats. He wrote back to the company, saying that Sanitarium’s employees invaded his shop in “an extremely smug manner”, threatening him with legal action. This, he said, was “unacceptable”.

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