A business has been forced to change the name of its Percy Pig ice cream after a “polite” request from Marks & Spencer.
Fabio’s Gelato, based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, only began making the product last week but quickly received a letter from the retail giant.
Owner Fabio Vincenti was told he could continue to use the sweets, but not the name of the product.
Mr Vincenti, whose ice cream parlour uses several different branded items for flavours, including chocolate bars, energy drinks and Marmite, described the letter as “polite but fair”.
The letter said: “Percy Pig is one of our ‘hero’ brands and we own trademarks to protect it. We risk losing those trademarks (and more importantly to us, consumers will no longer be confident Percy Pig-branded products originate from M&S) if we do not take steps to stop others from using them without our permission.”
Mr Vincenti said his ice cream would be renamed “Fabio’s Pig”.
An M&S spokesman said it was “careful to only put [Percy Pig’s] name on official M&S products”.
Percy has evolved into one of M&S’s most valuable products since hitting shelves as a gummy sweet in 1992. More than £10 million was grossed between June 2009 and 2010 in Percy Pig sales in M&S branches in the UK.