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M&S accused of plagiarizing recipe from Dishoom amid Colin the Caterpillar dispute


By Ellen Ormesher | Senior Reporter

July 2, 2021 | 8 min read

Retailer M&S has come under fire following accusations that it plagiarized a recipe from much-loved Indian restaurant chain Dishoom.

Dishoom's percy pig naan bread

Dishoom hits back at the recipe ‘plagiarized’ by M&S by recreating the dish with Percy Pig sweets

The news comes as M&S is currently embroiled in its own dispute after it took legal action against Aldi, accusing the supermarket chain of appropriating its well-known Colin the Caterpillar cake.

The recipe that Dishoom believes to have been plagiarized by M&S is a chili, bacon and egg naan – a staple on Dishoom’s popular breakfast menu. The dish was initially being promoted via paid social on M&S platforms without credit to the restaurant.

Fans on social media were quick to point out the similarities in the dishes, and Dishoom has since released a statement outlining that the dish indeed bears striking resemblance to its own, and elaborates that its frustration arises from the fact that M&S was using this recipe without proper credit across numerous paid advertising platforms. Dishoom also took the opportunity to make jibes in return, creating a mock recipe that features the retailer’s popular Percy Pig sweets.

M&S has since credited Dishoom as the inspiration behind the dish on its social media.

Why is it bad?

However, Dishoom’s statement continues that the ‘plagiarization’ is particularly egregious due to the pressure restaurants have been under to stay afloat throughout the pandemic.

In its statement on Twitter, Dishoom says: “After a year in which our cafés have been mostly closed, a year when we’ve spent many months (and countless sleepless nights) perfecting our first-ever meal kit to be able to bring this much-loved dish to the doors of patrons nationwide, it hurts all the more.

“There are many ways to entice people to visit a store. To attempt to profit off a dish that has become synonymous with a restaurant (which, like so many others, is doing everything in its power to stay afloat, to rebuild and to protect over 950 jobs) seems to me pretty cheeky.”

What happens next?

The restaurant subsequently requested that following proper accreditation of the recipe, M&S now link through to Dishoom’s at-home recipe kit, invite patrons to book a table at one of its locations, or purchase its Dishoom cookbook through the website in order to make amends.

“If that isn’t quite your style, might we suggest you donate a small percentage of your advertising budget to our good friends @magic_breakfast who provide nutritious free meals to schoolchildren across the UK.

“For each and every breakfast we serve, whether in the cafés or as a meal kit, we donate a meal via Magic Breakfast – perhaps you’ll consider doing the same,” concludes Dishoom.

M&S has since responded on Twitter, encouraging its followers to book a table at Dishoom or purchase one of its at-home kits, and says it has reached out to Magic Breakfast.

The Drum invited M&S to comment but was directed to the tweets sent earlier that day.

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