Dabur takes Marico’s Saffola Honey to court over similarities in product packaging


When Marico introduced Saffola Honey within the market, the corporate ended up ruffling a couple of feathers. Dabur filed a case within the Delhi high court against Marico for ‘imitating’ the bottle, label, trade dress and packaging of Dabur Honey, reports The Economic Times.

The matter was termed as sub-judice and both the businesses refused to comment, but the report mentions that Marico will still manufacture and sell Saffola Honey in its current avatar within the market.

Marico’s Saffola Honey vs. Dabur Honey

The court documents allege that there are similarities within the shape of the bottle, its yellow cap, the dome-shaped label, and therefore the visual usage of honey combs on the label. If the 2 jars of honey were placed side by side, one can certainly argue that there are visual similarities. Could this example be avoided?

Bear in mind that a couple of years ago, Marico didn’t take too kindly to being on the opposite side of the fence. In 2016, the Bombay high court directed Jin-X Healthcare – a Mumbai based company, to vary the color scheme of its coconut oil brand – Parajet – alongside the name. The Court also restrained Jin-X from using reminder blue in its packaging.

Parajet coconut oil

Parajet indeed bears an uncanny resemblance to Marico’s Parachute coconut oil and an unwitting customer might not be ready to differentiate between the 2 , at a look . The Bombay high court at the time ruled in Marico’s favour, but what do brand owners and their designers have to confine, while creating and designing a replacement product?

We spoke to Umbrella Design’s CCO Salil Sojwal to know things better. He admitted that, at first, he was dismissive of the charge, He explained that on the face of it, despite the similarities coming from the colors and imagery related to the category – he found the 2 designs are easily distinguishable.

He adds that if one were to believe the shelves during a retail environment, or maybe a thumbnail on a shopping app, Dabur would have cause for concern. Sojwal adds that Saffola could surely enjoy mistaken identity.

Salil Sojwal

He says that, “More disappointing is that the incontrovertible fact that Marico has always had high standards for packaging design, and Saffola has been modern urban in appeal forever. So, it’s a mystery why they had to require this meek clutter blending strategy because this cannot be an accident. Packaging designers are too acutely conscious of the competitive scenario for that to happen.”

What lessons can brand owners learn? Sojwal says that they have to seem in the least brand attributes because of the brand itself. He stresses on the importance of carving out their own proposition to a degree where it cannot be mistaken for a commodity. “Designers got to coax out better briefs to the present end, even take ownership of the strategy as that cannot be divorced from the design approach,” he concludes.


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