Norfolk bar loses £16,000 in legal case for serving Jägermeister 'imitation'

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New york Law

New York, New York bar was found to be making Jäger-Bombs using a weaker schnapps substitute
New York, New York bar was found to be making Jäger-Bombs using a weaker schnapps substitute
A Norfolk bar has been fined more than £16,000 for serving customers an “imitation product” when they had asked for Jägermeister.

Norfolk Trading Standards won the court case against New York, New York on Prince of Wales Road at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on 1 August after the bar was found guilty of deceiving the public and misusing trademarks on their promotional material in outlet.

During an investigation by Trading Standards officers in December 2011, as part of a targeted programme of checks at licensed premises in the town, it was found that the bar had been using a weaker schnapps as substitute for Jägermeiser to make Jäger-Bombs.

The bar owners, Deli Delicious Ltd, said in court that a barmaid had put the wrong alcohol into the bottle by mistake but were charged on two accounts – for selling food not of the nature demanded by the purchaser, under the Food Safety Act, and engaging in commercial practice which was a “misleading action containing false information”, under trading regulations.


Consumer rights stipulate that if customers order a premium spirit or specific brand, they must be served with the product requested rather than an imitation or cheaper version.

In the UK Jägermeister, Jägerbomb and J-Bomb are trademarked and any product sold under these names must be genuine - this includes menus, promotional flyers, POS or notices advertising these products.

David Collinson, assistant director of public protection at Norfolk County Council, said: “When we were there, comments from a customer - and one of the bar’s directors - led us to test a sample from a branded bottle of Jägermeister.


“By pouring the drinks from a branded bottle, New York New York was deliberately misleading its customers into believing they were buying a specific premium product when in fact they were being given something completely different.

“Quite apart from the food safety aspect of this kind of practice, this is completely unfair to customers. When people go into a shop, restaurant or - in this case, a bar - and hand over their hard-earned cash, they have every right to get what they expect - not a substitute product with a similar taste. 

“Ripping off customers in this way is a very poor way of running a business and I am pleased that the magistrate’s decision reflects this opinion in favour of the consumer.”


Dan Roper, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection added that although there are thousands of well-run businesses that would “never dream of carrying out tricks like this to dupe their customers”, he hopes the case will warn other licensees that these issues will be pursued, legally if necessary, to protect both consumers and legitimate businesses.

Martin Watts, managing director of Cellar Trends, the distributor of Jägermeister in the UK, said the company has been working with Trading Standards throughout the country to educate outlets about their responsibilities and to ensure they are aware of the legalities and requirements when it comes to consumer rights.

“Passing off and pouring over one product for another is a growing concern that not only impacts manufacturers, but also damages consumer confidence in the trade.

“While the majority of licensees are responsible business owners this case demonstrates that pouring over and passing off is being taken seriously by both the authorities and manufacturers to tackle this head on and help eradicate the problem. Ultimately, licensees should be thinking whether the risk is worth a £16,000 fine if caught in the act,” he said.

Despite repeated attempts the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​ was unable to contact Deli Delicious Ltd for comment.

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