The Big Pickle: A Real-Life Example of an NDA in Action

After discussing the value of using an NDA to protect your business ideas, I am back with a real-world example.

Recently, I wrote (and made a video) about the value of having an NDA to protect your business idea. If you have not checked those out, I highly suggest you do so.


NDAs are useful in protecting confidential information, but they’re not bulletproof. Learn more at #startups #business #entrepreneur

♬ original sound – CompanySteps

A few weeks later, I have a fantastic example of how an NDA gets used and why your company may want to consider drafting one.

It appears that a pickle-packer picked the wrong people to pester. Grillo’s Pickles alleges that it used to use Patriot Pickle as a co-packer to assist in manufacturing and shipping its products. According to Grillo’s, after ending its relationship with Patriot, the co-packer stole its recipe and now sells the same product under a Whole Foods brand.

Grillo’s claims that it and Patriot signed a mutual NDA, which, in part, would bar Patriot from using Grillo’s recipes for their own products. If true, this is a perfect example of how an NDA can help protect a business.

You wouldn’t have to worry about other companies stealing your business ideas or designs in a perfect world. Unfortunately, these things do happen in real life. While an NDA is not foolproof, it still can offer some protection for businesses.

Grillo’s has a long road ahead to how Patriot did indeed steal its recipe. One obstacle is that it appears Patriot is a player in the pickle industry in their own right, in which case, it’s entirely possible that Patriot’s pickles are their own creation. That said, if Grillo’s can show the Patriot recipe is essentially the same as their own, then Patriot could be in a pretty big… pickle.