Bega wins peanut butter federal court standoff with Kraft

The federal court victory over Kraft has come at an opportune time for Bega Foods as it looks to capitalise on its peanut butter assets.

This coming Sunday will see the start of Bega's advertising campaign for its all-natural, all-Australian peanut butter brand Simply Nuts, which the company launched at the end of March.

Now with Wednesday's Federal Court ruling in Bega's favour, it can also press on with marketing its trademark yellow-lidded peanut butter line acquired from Kraft during Bega's 2017 purchase of Mondelez.

Kraft went to the Federal Court late that same year alleging Bega engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct over the marketing of its peanut butter.

Federal Court Justice David O'Callaghan on Wednesday delivered his judgement declaring that the rights to the trademark branding had been transferred to Bega as part of the sales agreement between it and Mondelez.

Executive general manager of Bega Foods Adam McNamara said the company was "absolutely delighted" with the court's decision and that "it was worth the wait".

"We believed we purchased the trade dress in good faith and that's why we defended our position strongly," Mr McNamara said.

Launching Simply Nuts as its own peanut butter brand while the Kraft court process was underway - and, indeed, nearing its decision - could seem fortuitous, or even portentous.

However, Mr McNamara said Simply Nuts was just that, "simply an extension of our strategy".

"We looked at it in terms of consumer trends heading towards all-natural, no additive products, and we saw a great opportunity to enter that space with our peanut butter."

Mr McNamara said Wednesday's court decision, along with the imminent marketing of its "innovative" Simply Nuts, made for a tasty reward.

"Those two have come together nicely and we are seeing good times ahead.

"Everyone here is delighted and that's also the sentiment we're seeing on social media [following the decision].

"Australian consumers can continue to buy the same great product from the same factory, with the same great taste that they've always done."

Bega's executive chairman Barry Irvin announced the win to shareholders with a statement to the Australian stock exchange.

"Importantly, this gives Bega Cheese the right to continue to use the current packaging of its smooth and crunchy peanut butter products," he said.

The company will review the 178-page judgement before making any further announcements.

It's understood the legal process is ongoing with potential for discussion around damages.