Jul 27, 2022 - News

Utah's cookie wars unravel on social media

Illustration of a gingerbread cookie decorated like a judge.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Public feuding between gourmet cookie companies in Utah is playing out on social media with the hashtag #utahcookiewars.

Context: Orem-based Crumbl Cookies sued two competitors — Dirty Dough and Crave Cookies — for trademark infringement in May.

  • The similar lawsuits alleged both companies copied Crumbl's weekly rotating menu model, as well as its products and packaging.

The other side: Owners of Dirty Dough and Crave Cookies have denied the allegations.

  • Dirty Dough owner Bennett Maxwell recently placed 12 tongue-in-cheek digital billboards in response to the lawsuit in Salt Lake and Utah counties.
  • One billboard read, "Our cookies don't crumble with competition" and another said, "We don't just file lawsuits we just have better cookies."

What they're saying: "I view it as a bully tactic," Maxwell told Axios.

  • "They're showing our picture of cookies and sprinkles next to theirs like they had the first cookie with sprinkles," he said.
  • Maxwell added his company has received viral support on social media.
  • "Our reaction is kind of confusion because we don't see any similarities," Crave Cookies co-founder Trent English said. "This is their way to stifle competition."

After the lawsuit was made public, English went on TikTok to thank social media users for their support of his business.

Catch up quick: Crumbl Cookies opened its first store in Logan in 2017.

  • Since then, the company has opened more than 300 locations across the country.
  • Dirty Dough opened its third location this year in Spanish Fork, with plans to open dozens of more locations throughout the U.S.
  • Crave Cookies opened in 2019 and has four locations in Utah.

Last week, Crumbl founder and CEO Jason McGowan used Linkedin to accuse defendants of spreading misinformation to garner public sentiment.

  • "The defendants both formed businesses copying Crumbl’s processes, trademarks and trade dress in a confusingly similar way. Both defendants have unique ties to Crumbl despite saying otherwise," he stated.
  • English strongly refuted the claims.

What we're watching: Aside from the outcomes of the cases, we're interested in seeing how the lawsuits shape the public's perception of the cookie companies.

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