Listen Live

Grillo’s Pickles, Inc. filed a complaint against Patriot Pickle, Inc. claiming that they are using their recipe for a line of pickles with Whole Foods.

>> Read more trending news

In a news release, Grillo’s Pickles claims that Patriot Pickles uses identical ingredients and organic acid profile tests as proof of Patriot’s use and disclosure of Grillo’s trade secrets,” which violates the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and contracts between Grillo’s and Patriot.

Grillo’s Pickles claims in the lawsuit that the company learned the recipe for Grillo’s Pickles as the companies partnered together for nearly a decade, according to The Washington Post.

Grillo’s Pickles is asking for Patriot to remove all of their products that are allegedly made with its recipes from stores and restaurants, according to the Post.

“Patriot Pickle is trying to profit off of Grillo’s 100-year-old family recipe and our trade secrets,” said Adam Kaufman, President of Grillo’s Pickles in the news release. “It’s a massive violation of trust and a disappointment that after nearly a decade of partnership, our former co-packer, Patriot Pickle, has violated our agreements and is producing a nearly identical line of pickles for one of our biggest retailers, threatening to permanently damage our business.”

Another lawsuit was filed in January against the company where Grillo’s claimed that Patriot had falsely advertised that its Wahlburger pickles were all natural but had had an artificial preservative in them, according to the Post. The Patriot tried to get the case dismissed, but the case remains ongoing.

Patriot began supplying pickles to stores and restaurants across the United States in 2004, according to its website, the Post reported. The lawsuit says that Travis Grillo founded Grillo’s Pickles in 2008 with his grandfather’s recipe.

The two companies reportedly partnered together in 2012. Both companies had nondisclosure agreements. However, according to the newspaper, Grillo’s provided Patrot with the recipes as well as its packaging process. The companies later signed an additional agreement in 2015 to not disclose recipes, the lawsuit said.

The two companies stopped working together in 2021, and the lawsuit claims that Patriot did not return its copies of the Grillo’s recipes, and around May 2023, the Patriot started selling pickles under a Whole Foods 365 label.

“The alleged use of recipes stolen from Grillo’s to roll out a line of pickles nationwide at one of Grillo’s biggest retailers, at a lower price point, and during the highest grossing time of year for pickle sales, threatens to cripple Grillo’s business and customer base irreparably. As a result, Grillo’s is asking the court for emergency injunctive relief in addition to a permanent injunction and damages,” Grillo’s said in the news release.

The lawsuit says Grillo’s wants Patriot to return or destroy their recipes and is requesting damages and attorneys fees to be compensated.

According to the Post, Patriot Pickle has not responded to a request for comment. They are expected to respond to the lawsuit by July 18.