By Devi Chandran (‘24)
It is agony waiting for a new selection of mouth watering morsels to be available to the general public. The anticipation of another week’s flavors gives those in line a bonding experience once unique to the establishment. Only the most loyal fans can endure the lengthy wait….
Just another week at Crumbl Cookies!
Founded in 2017, the Utah based company has since expanded to more than 300 stores in 36 states. In addition, they have a strong social media presence- with 6 million followers on TikTok alone. Needless to say, they are crushing the cookie game. However, a recent “cookie war” has been heating up tensions both digitally and in court, as Crumbl accused two smaller chains of stealing their logo and recipe rotation.
Dirty Dough and Crave, the companies fighting the lawsuit, dismissed these claims as “half baked.” The lawsuit, filed in Utah, claims that Crumbl’s competitors have “packaging, decor, and presentation” that is “confusingly similar” to Crumbl’s own. Both companies reject this claim as ludicrous.
Bennett Maxwell, Dirty Dough founder, sarcastically said in an interview, “They [Crumbl] don’t want us to do rotating flavors. Because I mean, you know, they invented that- the ability to rotate and have it for a limited time offer- apparently Crumbl invented it five years ago.”
Trent English, Crave co-founder, expressed confusion about Crumbl’s claim that the logo and packaging were eerily similar. In a statement to the press he said, “Our branding is black and gold. Crumbl’s is pink and black. Their logo is a chef wearing a hat. Ours is two overlapping cookies…I think most people can tell us apart just fine.”
The feud has sparked digital pushback as Dirty Dough released several advertisements and commercials mocking the situation. A billboard favorite, “Cookies so good we’re being sued!” One of their most notable advertisements, Big Cookie Co. Shuts Down Neighborhood Cookie “Infringers”, features little kids at a lemonade stand being forced to stop selling their cookies because according to the big business owner, “that’s our thing.”
According to Crumbl there is a good reason to believe that foul play is involved. As stated in a report by KSL News Radio, a relative of the founder of Dirty Dough was a former Crumbl employee that left the franchise in 2019. That same year the founder of Crave cookies was denied the chance to become a Crumbl franchisee.
In a statement to the press Crumbl announced, “One of the defendant’s brothers, who we also believe was involved in the defendant’s business, was a former corporate employee of Crumbl who had access to our recipes, schematics, processes, and other proprietary information. We have recently been told by a whistleblower, with insider knowledge, that the defendant misappropriated this information.”
Nevertheless, the dispute has been great for business for all three franchises. According to a CNBC report, both Dirty Dough and Crave have seen a 50% increase in sales.
It seems this cookie war is only just baking as tensions continue to heat up on the court and through social media. The question is, who will crumble?