Guiding the Food & Beverage Industry through Legal Complexities

The global food and beverage (F&B) market is experiencing phenomenal growth, poised to surpass $7 billion by 2023. With this remarkable expansion, F&B brands, encompassing manufacturers, restaurateurs, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, are navigating a landscape filled with challenges. At Hahn Loeser, we’re committed to supporting this fast-growing industry, guiding clients through intricate business and legal complexities. Our dedicated team of attorneys ensures that F&B brands and stakeholders can concentrate on expansion and optimizing their business potential.

Supporting a fast-growing industry 

Guiding clients through the intricate business and legal challenges of the F&B sector, our attorneys work to help stakeholders concentrate on expansion to optimize their business potential.

Hahn Loeser provides legal services to a broad range of entities, from emerging ventures to industry mainstays, encompassing all areas of intellectual property, labor and employment, compliance, business formation, and litigation. Additionally, we support individual investors and financial entities investing in the F&B sector.

Diverse clientele from all corners of the industry 

Deeply embedded in the global F&B landscape, our team provides guidance, planning, and support to entities producing, distributing, or selling consumables – manufacturers, wholesalers, vintners, brewers, farmers, packers, investors, and everyone in between.

Harnessing collective wisdom from diverse sectors, our team caters to stakeholders’ and businesses’ unique and often fast-emerging needs across retail, manufacturing, and distribution.

Practice Areas: How we help 

Hahn Loeser’s multidisciplinary approach encompasses regulatory compliance, commercial negotiations, dispute resolutions, and food safety-centric litigations. Our legal services include intellectual property, M&A, business restructures, financing, real estate, environmental concerns, technology, and more.

Intellectual Property Services 

With so much competition in the market – and the breakneck speed of F&B innovation – it’s no surprise that intellectual property has become a major consideration for industry leaders and emerging brands.

In the F&B industry, success starts with strong brand recognition – products, services, and messaging that separates your business from the competition. This recognition powers awareness and consideration and plays a significant role in engagement, conversion, and ongoing loyalty, all critical to long-term growth and scale.

Hahn Loeser Intellectual Property attorneys aid our clients in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights involving brand names, packaging, and other aspects of your products, goods, and services. Our team registers and enforces trademarks and copyrights, protects trade secrets, and litigates infringement disputes for a dynamic roster of local, regional, and global F&B brands.

Litigation and Compliance

Our F&B practice prioritizes the legal defense and well-being of our clients. Over the years, we’ve represented clients facing federal and state regulatory compliance lawsuits. This includes addressing claims of misleading advertising, potential labeling discrepancies, product misbranding, and potential breaches of California’s Proposition 65.

But our proactive approach doesn’t just revolve around defense. From day one, we’re focused on ensuring a preventative strategy and a clear-cut path to success.

Recognizing the potential pitfalls in the F&B industry, we also offer comprehensive compliance advice and strategic support. Our goal is to equip clients with the necessary insights and guidelines, minimizing future litigation chances and ensuring compliance with business operations.

Our attorneys are also well-versed in the impact of key regulatory bodies, including the FDA, USDA, and EPA. We understand the intricacies of their guidelines and the nuances of compliance. This allows us to offer unrivaled counsel and representation. Should our clients face challenges, our track record showcases our capability to represent F&B brands, especially in litigations connected with these key regulatory bodies.

Contract and Business Formation

Our experience goes beyond representation and defense – it extends into the foundational processes that ensure your F&B business runs smoothly. Our skilled team has an in-depth understanding of the industry’s unique requirements, and we customize our services to align with those nuances.

When it comes to contract drafting and negotiations, we realize that one size does not fit all. For our F&B industry clients, we provide tailored solutions that address the specifics of their operations:

Manufacturer Agreements: 

Our drafts ensure that both the client and the manufacturer clearly understand their roles, responsibilities, and expectations, creating a seamless production process.

Packing Agreements: 

Considering the importance of product packaging in preserving quality and marketing, we meticulously detail client roles, timelines, and quality standards to prevent unforeseen hitches.

Supplier Agreements:

With the global food supply chain’s intricacies, our crafted agreements address payment terms, delivery schedules, quality checks, and contingency plans, ensuring our clients have a consistent supply for their operations.

Licensing Agreements: 

Whether our clients want to expand their brand through franchising, collaborations, or introducing new product lines, our licensing agreements establish clear terms, rights, and expectations for both licensors and licensees.

Labor and Employment Law

Labor regulations can be a major challenge for emerging businesses. Even well-established F&B brands may work through diverse labor and employment considerations from state to state, especially considering the role temporary and gig workers play in this industry.

Labor and employment laws aren’t just complex; they’re constantly changing, and the variations that exist from one state to another can be challenging to keep up with. More than ever, having a proactive legal strategy is not just an option but a necessity.

Compliance Advice: 

Navigating labor regulations requires a deft understanding of both federal and state-specific mandates. We offer in-depth compliance advice to ensure that F&B businesses and their employees are always on the right side of the law. This approach mitigates legal risks and fosters a healthy workplace environment.

Strategic Support: 

As regulations evolve, businesses must adapt. We help F&B clients strategize their labor and employment practices, aligning them with current legal requirements and anticipating future changes. This ensures our clients are not only compliant today but are also prepared for tomorrow.

Litigation Defense: 

Even with the best precautions, legal challenges can arise. Our seasoned attorneys are well-equipped to defend our clients robustly in labor and employment litigation cases. Whether it’s a matter of contractual disagreements, wage disputes, or wrongful termination claims, our team stands ready to provide the best defense strategy.

California Presence: 

Recognizing the significant footprint of California’s food and beverage industry and the state’s distinct labor laws, we have a dedicated presence there. Given California’s unique regulatory environment, this allows us to serve clients who have employees or independent contractors in the state more effectively.

Real Estate Considerations  

As the F&B sector expands, we’ve seen a significant uptick in demand for food service businesses within commercial real estate spaces. With dining out surging right now, having restaurants on-premises can cast a “halo effect” on adjacent retail stores and other destinations, which translates to meaningful foot traffic and sales.

Given this dynamic, restaurants are increasingly leveraged as commercial real estate anchors, drawing more customers to malls, outdoor shopping centers, and more. Our seasoned attorneys can assist in ensuring all legal aspects of these integrations are seamless, addressing issues tied to zoning, licensing, and tenant agreements, and ensuring both sides optimize their shared location.

Do business in California? What F&B brands need to know about California’s Proposition 65. Learn more here