Herbal liqueur maker Jägermeister is poised to take legal action against five bars in the Midlands and North of England which the company believes have been caught serving substitute products in place of its own.
The actions of the five bars, which cannot be named, were discovered by private investigators and confirmed by laboratory tests. The tests also showed that in some cases substitute products had been poured from Jägermeister-branded bottles.
Lawyers acting for Mast-Jägermeister SE, the brand owner, have written to the five bars, advising them that they have evidence from visits to the bars of "passing off or pouring over". The bars are asked to stop or face legal proceedings.
Mast-Jägermeister SE has been monitoring the situation in the on-trade in the wake of its growth in the UK - with total sales up more than 100% in the past 12 months. Sales of Jägermeister are forecast to reach in the region of 500,000 cases in the UK in 2011 for a retail value in the on and off trades in excess of £100m.
By Neil Gerrard
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