Food & Drink

We know things move quickly in the Food & Drink sector. New ingredients, new methods of manufacture, new packaging, new brands, new trends, new restaurants and bars, new ways to reach consumers – and always new competitors. That’s what makes it so exciting. 

The Future of Food

This speed of change, not least as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, means that the Food & Drink sector faces an unprecedented challenge but also a huge opportunity. The businesses which are the most agile and in tune with changing consumer trends will be best placed to reap the rewards as the landscape evolves – and that means your intellectual property needs to work harder for you than ever before.

Trusted advisor

That’s where we come in. Our attorneys have a genuine depth of experience in all things Food & Drink, covering the full length of value chain from soil to consumer, including:

  • agriculture - and horticulture

  • poultry and animal breeding

  • alternative protein sources

  • ingredient innovation

  • manufacturing technology

  • ​alternative meats

  • vegan foods

  • confectionery

  • nutritional supplements

  • beverages

  • animal and pet food

  • baby food

  • packaging

  • coffee shops

  • coffee and vending machines

  • restaurants and bars

We focus on you

Whether you’re a multi-national, a high growth private company or an early stage start up - wherever you are in the food (or drink) chain, we would love to work with you.
We offer the full range of services you might need, including:

  • patent, trade mark and design protection

  • ​strategic IP advice 

  • freedom to operate

  • ​brand clearance searches

  • competitor landscaping

  • ​due diligence and dealing with investors

  • innovation capture

  • ​oppositions

  • advice on infringements

  • dispute resolution

  • advice on international IP protection

  • ​and much more!

If you would like to know more and find out how we might be able to help your Food & Drink business, please get in touch. We would love to be part of your journey. But more than that, we understand your sector. Against the commercial backdrop which is already familiar to us, we work hard to get to know your business and its own individual needs, providing tailored, pragmatic advice and building a genuine partnership.

Food technology and IP

Consumers are driving the food revolution. Movements such as Farm to Fork and Beauty From Within are no longer concepts but a way of life many are choosing for the long-term.

The growing demand for sustainable, clean and healthy foods and beverages has seen a whole new influx of innovative companies disrupt the market. Functional foods, alternative meats, and supplements have never been more popular. Companies that understand and adapt to these new trends are reaping the (commercial) rewards.

Whether you are an established business or a start-up, our experience covers the full supply chain and can help you protect some of your most valuable assets: your patents, designs and trade marks. Our services include advice and protection in the following fields:

  • agriculture and horticulture

  • crop science

  • functional foods

  • ingredient innovation

  • packaging

  • production and processing

  • machinery

Are you one of the disrupters in the Food & Drink market? 

Are you keen to defend and expand your current market position? Effective IP protection can help future-proof your business and build value in your business.
Ask us about our IP toolbox which will help you create, maintain and grow a genuine competitive advantage.

Remember, patents can protect all kinds of innovation in the Food & Drink sector, for example:

  • methods to get proteins from insects

  • ingredients to make plant based meat look good on the BBQ

  • products that protect crops against pests without using chemicals

  • recyclable plastic packaging to reduce the plastic soup

​So make sure you think laterally and talk to our experts early on during development, so you don’t accidentally miss a golden opportunity to protect your valuable innovation.

The Dark Kitchen rises: detriment of brand value or a clever move?

Fuelled by the pandemic, they're super trending: Dark Kitchens. Restaurant chains that focus purely on delivery, without a physical restaurant.
A win or a concern for restaurant owners?
Not having a physical restaurant limits staff numbers and lowers costs, but it means also limited brand visibility offline. It concerns brands that are only visible on apps or the internet.
Big brand owners like McDonalds and Burger King want to respond to the increasing demand for delivery and have recently opened a dark kitchen in London on a trial basis. These companies have already built a significant brand reputation and are clearly not concerned about any detriment through this concept.
In order to remain visible offline, Domino's has opted for a middle ground: branches primarily focused on delivery, without seats but with pick-up space. Chipotle (Mexican food) has followed this approach, as well as Wendy’s (fast food), both of whom want to increase their share of the market in this way. These "digital kitchens" mainly focus on smaller markets where a full restaurant of the chain is unfeasible.

That the concept works also for start-up companies, proves FalaFellow. This Dutch company was founded during the Corona-virus pandemic, as a pop-up dark kitchen. After only one month they decided to continue, seeing a growth in revenue of 15 – 40% a week. The start up was one of the big winners of the Dutch hospitality awards, winning the award for best and most creative restaurant in Amsterdam (and 3rd place for best Dutch restaurant!). Apparently the market already sees this dark kitchen as a fully-fledged, high-quality restaurant.
Euromonitor market researchers predict that the industry will be worth a trillion dollars worldwide by 2030. Does that mean that dark kitchens are the future of delivery? Should all companies start investing in digital brand visibility? Or will they work well only for companies who have already built up an established reputation under their brand?
Time will tell but one thing remains: whether you, as a restaurant owner, are active online or offline, or both, protecting your brand with a registered trade mark remains essential to running a successful business and staying ahead of the competition.

Read related article Don't be afraid of the dark ►

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