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ConAgra, Trader Joe's Sued over Pocket Pretzels

<p>Terry Kroll, CEO of Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Maxim Marketing Corp., said in a statement that ConAgra &quot;has devastated my small business&quot;.</p>

LOS ANGELESA 33-year-old company that sold pocket pretzels filled with peanut butter has filed a $60 million lawsuit against ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Trader Joe's.

Maxim Marketing Corp. said it sold the pocket pretzels to Trader Joe's for a quarter century. But last year, ConAgra acquired the firm that made the treats for Maxim, canceling its contract with Maxim.

It wasn't long before ConAgra starting selling the exact same pretzels to Trader Joe's, Maxim alleged. According to Maxim, Trader Joe's is selling the treats to consumers at the same price, $3.79.

Terry Kroll, CEO of Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Maxim, said in a statement that ConAgra "has devastated my small business".

The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, asserts claims for breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations and violation of California antitrust law, according to a press release.

ConAgra spokeswoman Becky Niiya said the lawsuit is "without merit" and the company plans to "vigorously" defend itself.

Trader Joe's declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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