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You probably know the news by now: Marks & Spencer has begun legal action against Aldi, stating the the supermarket’s “Cuthbert the Caterpillar” infringes its Colin the Caterpillar trademark.
M&S wants Aldi to remove the product from sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future. And the news prompted an outcry on social media, with Aldi tweeting a series of #FreeCuthbert tweets.
And other supermarkets, who also have cakes resembling Colin, decided to get involved, too.
As we all know, while Colin the Caterpillar is the original, other supermarkets cottoned on to the celebrity caterpillar, designing their own strikingly similar versions (I mean, how much can you really shake up the design?), albeit with different names.
There’s Asda’s Clyde, Tesco’s Curly, Waitrose’s Cecil and Sainsbury’s Wiggles (no, they didn’t get the alliteration memo).
To brighten up an otherwise average, pre-Covid working day, the HuffPost team gathered in a room in 2019 to sample the many Colin incarnations – and give our verdict. Here’s what we thought.
Described by one reviewer as the “OG birthday cake”, Colin is popular in the HuffPost newsroom for its good chocolate-to-cake ratio and reliability at making everyone happy – even when everyone awkwardly gathers around the desk to sing a tone-deaf rendition of Happy Birthday. Guess we’re not doing that these days.
Another taste-tester called it “likely the greatest caterpillar cake of its generation”, a bold claim but you can’t argue with cake thats shareable, balanced and teetering on the right edge of not-too-sickly.
Surprising, Wiggles divided the office, with some disregarding their loyalty to the original due to its moist, soft and gooey chocolate filling. “It’s much creamier,” one person said, licking their lips before diving in for a second slice.
There were a handful of staunch Colin fans that couldn’t be budged, with one commenting: “Wiggles’ lighter sponge gives him the impression that it’s not quite so horrendously bad for your BMI… but that’s not what the caterpillar genre of cake is really about – it’s meant to be a bit sinful and accompanied with a ‘ooh I shouldn’t, I’ve got a spin class later’.”
Nor were they impressed by the lack of smarties. The words ‘hard done by’ spring to mind.
Poor Clyde did not do too well and was left with scathing reviews for being too dry, too bland and the ugliest caterpillar cake of all (ouch). It lost major points for presentation too, one reviewer saying it looked like he was going to vomit, although that may make it perfect for a kids party or halloween.
The overall consensus: Clyde was too sickly and too dry, all at the same time.
Tesco took the original and made its own version, choosing to chuck a few fruity sweets on top to switch things up. Unfortunately, it did not work on our tough critics. Feedback included the sponge being too dry, the chocolate tasting cheap, one even went as far as to call it basic.
One reviewer commented: “This is one save for when a colleague you don’t like is leaving.” Bear that in mind if a Curly appears on your desk come 4pm.
Cecil was considered by many of our reviewers as the only contender to Colin’s crown. Even those who were sticklers for the original were swayed. “He’s got rich flavours and a clear impression he is made of quality stuff,” said one.
With a hilariously on-brand upper middle class name, the perfect balance between sweet and bitter chocolate, soft sponge, and loads of filling won acclaim for our tough panel of judges.
Most went back for seconds too. Well done, Cecil.