Boston Business Journal

Massachusetts Pickle-Maker Sues Wahlburgers Chain

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Needham-based Grillo’s Pickles has a beef with the way the famous Wahlberg family’s namesake burger chain markets its pickles.

Wahlburgers is known best for its burgers and fries — as well as the Dorchester-bred family behind the company. However, it also sells packaged pickles as part of its grocery store lineup, marketing the pickles as “fresh,” “all natural,” and containing “no preservatives.”

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Grillo’s argues in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Wahlburgers’ pickles do, in fact, have artificial preservatives. The company even conducted lab tests that it says proves the presence of “substantial amounts of benzoic acid,” a preservative.

That ingredient isn’t included on Wahlburgers’ pickle labels, Grillo’s says. Grillo's is hoping that a U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey will make an injunction ruling and approve damages for Grillo’s.

"In positioning its products as 'fresh' and containing 'no preservatives,' our competitor is effectively duping consumers and retailers, especially those who are actively seeking all-natural food products with clean labels," Adam Kaufman, the Grillo's Pickles president, said in a statement. "Like our customers, we understand and value the importance of ingredient transparency."

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