Duffingate: Starbucks won’t stop anyone baking them

09 October, 2013

It gives a whole new meaning to a bun fight.

When Starbucks launched its new doughnut and muffin hybrid last week (see the British Baker story here), called the duffin, it probably thought it was on to a good thing.

However, the internet erupted yesterday, when a baker with a small chain of shops in London said she had invented the tasty treat. The duffin is a sticky combination of muffin and doughnut that is baked, dipped in melted butter and then coated in sugar.

Bea Vo, owner of Bea’s of Bloomsbury, said she was shocked to discover that the duffin had been successfully trademarked last month by pastry supplier Rich Products, which developed the treat for Starbucks UK.

So she took her angst to Twitter – accusing the coffee shop supplier of preventing her from making the treat. She said her recipe has been available in her book for the past three years.

In a tweet to British Baker, she said: “@MartynBBmag @StarbucksUK @RichsNews by owning trademark they reserve right to prevent me from selling duffins. Point of trademark.”

Not so, said Starbucks.

In a statement, Ian Cranna, VP Marketing & Category for Starbucks UK, said: “Since launching the Starbucks Duffin we have discovered there are other Duffins being created and enjoyed in the UK. Rich Products, who created our Duffin has trademarked the name in the UK. However, neither Starbucks nor Rich Products has at any time suggested that we will attempt to stop Bea’s of Bloomsbury selling their own Duffins.”

However, Vo replied: “It's obvious, I think, where their duffin was inspired from. They should just give credit where credit is due and not claim it for themselves.”





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