Packaging imitation

Is it OK to imitate colours and design elements of the package of well known products? Apparently ALDI thinks so and the law seems to agree.

Fairfax have an article here on the topic. Some of the main points are:

  • ALDI deliberately make their house brand products with names and packages similar to other brands. They have been sued but not successfully.
  • The law tries not to support corralling colours and shapes for commercial branding purposes.
  • The main test is not whether the packet looks somewhat like another but would it lead to confusion in the shopper.

What do you think? Is it fine by you if an ALDI package reminds you of a well known brand or are they being deceitful?


A lot of companies do similar things even to the point of trademarking commonly used phrases and words to help “image” their products in the marketplace. If a company chooses to do so why should they be able to argue for a right they may already abuse themselves “I’m head and shoulders above anyone else”.


Deceitful, not sure, but riding on the back of companies that have possibIy spent considerable time and effort (inc. $$$) for visually differentiation to their competitors, definitely yes.

It 8s possibly only deceitful if one went to ALDI to buy a specific branded product, and made purchaees thinking that the ALDI store brand product was in fact the branded product they were after.

There has also been enough media and advertising to indicate that ALDI mostly sells its own branded products which it claims are similar to branded products, even though these may come from overseas (compared to Australian produced) or from different manufacturing food plants (the cheapest one they can find to support their lowest cost base model).

Where they have been deceptive is the use of the Aussie made logo. Many of its shoppers think that Aldi products are product if Australia as it has the green and gold triangle…but don’t realise that the product is mostly made from imported products…which hapoens to be mixed, blended and packaged in Australia.

I recall that Choice found less than 15% Aldi lines Australian product, compared to around 40% for the other major supermarkets.

Friends who regularly shop at Aldi have commented that they have also noticed that some of the products which used to be made in Australia (or claimed product in Australia) appaear to be now made either with imported product or overseas. I wonder if the new labelling requirements is catching up on Aldi’s past deceptive use of the Aussie made logo and the confusion it caused?

We also chose not to buy at Aldi as we disagree with their business model and that all their profits go overseas (to a privately owned German company). We chose to mostly shop at independent fruit and grocers and butchers, with staples from one of the mostly owned Australian supermarkets where it is still possible to buy most product lines/brands which are produced in Australia.

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