Migros said on Monday it will rename its Cronut fried pastry. The French inventor of the cross between doughnuts and croissants, Dominique Ansel, had accused the Swiss retailer of copying his creation and stealing the Cronuts name.
Ansel first sold the pastries at his bakery in Manhattan in May. Word spread, and soon people were queuing from the break of dawn to get their hands on one of the 250 calorie bombs made each day.
The Paris-born pastry chef patented the ring-shaped pastries, forcing US bakers to come up with other names: zonuts, frizzants, cronies, doissants. He neglected to protect the pastry name in Switzerland, however, and Migros took advantage of the opportunity.
The retailer registered the Cronut trademark for the product in Switzerland in July and started to produce its own versions in August. Ansel was irritated and announced plans to patent his invention in Switzerland.
At the time, Migros said it had no idea that Ansel planned to commercialize his invention in countries outside the United States. It acknowledged that it had sent staff over to New York to check out the Cronuts, although it developed its own recipe.
“Migros acted in good faith and in a correct manner,” Monika Weibel, spokeswoman for Switzerland’s largest retailer, told the Swiss New Ageny.
Confirming a report from the Sunday newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag, Weibel said that Migros decided to act of its own accord after receiving a letter from Ansel’s legal representative in Switzerland.
Migros has not yet announced a new name for its former Cronut pastries. Three years ago, the retailer was forced to change the name of its ice cream brand Jane and Mary’s because it was too similar to Ben & Jerry’s. The new name: Mary Jane’s.
Dominique Ansel makes Cronuts with a laminated dough that is similar to a croissant. The pastry is proofed and fried in grapeseed oil for 30 seconds, then rolled in sugar, filled with cream and topped with a glaze.
He makes only one flavour a month. The first flavour when it debuted May 10 was rose sugar with a Tahitian vanilla ganache, topped with a light rose glaze and crystallised rose petals. These sold at $5 (CHF4.60) a piece.
Ansel isn’t giving up the exact recipe and says he doesn’t know the calorie count, but it has been estimated at 500-600 per Cronut.
swissinfo.ch and agencies