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Consumable Goods

Advising product makers and shakers.

For manufacturers of consumable products, product integrity is a vital asset. Protecting and helping clients leverage that asset is our first order of business. Our consumable goods team brings regulatory, transactional and litigation savvy to help clients across this manufacturing sector overcome their most pressing challenges. We focus on understanding our clients’ strategic business goals and helping them to achieve those goals as efficiently as possible in fast-paced, competitive and highly regulated environments.

Our consumable goods team counsels on commercial and contract matters, regulatory compliance (FDA, TTB, USDA, CPSC, and state agencies), intellectual property, marketing and advertising, international trade, supply and distribution needs, M&A transactions, and tax planning, incentives, and controversy. We help clients implement strategies to address customs issues, product recalls, and enforcement actions brought by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. We also structure and negotiate co-packing, toll manufacturing, distribution, vendor and supply chain agreements.

Team Lead

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  • Daniel G. Mudd Profile Image
    Daniel G. Mudd

    Member

    Louisville, KY

Industry-Focused Support

Alcohol & Tobacco Companies

For highly regulated areas such as alcohol and tobacco, a deep understanding of the industry’s legal and tax complexities is vital. We are keenly aware of the heightened scrutiny that companies in these markets face, and we can provide the substantive knowledge and resources required to successfully advise them through any and all issues that arise. Our attorneys have counseled producers and distributors in every stage of their business. Whether you are a start-up or an international conglomerate, we have the experience to guide you through the unique regulatory and legal challenges inherent in your industry.

We represent importers, wholesalers, retailers, breweries, distilleries, wineries, cideries and other alcoholic beverage producers regionally, across the United States and internationally. We advise on product development, sales and distribution, licensing and regulatory compliance, federal/state/local tax and incentives, labeling and advertising restrictions. We also have experience assisting in the development of craft brewers guilds and alcoholic beverage manufacturers alliances, lobbying for legislative change in alcoholic beverage laws, and speaking to broad audiences regarding the unique challenges and opportunities in the alcoholic beverage industry.

Food & Beverage Companies

Our food and beverage team works closely and collaboratively with national and international manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and distributors of a wide range of consumer goods, including dietary supplements and cosmetics, in addition to food and beverage products. We counsel our clients on issues such as commercial and contract matters (including toll manufacturing, distribution, vendor and other supply chain agreements), FDA/regulatory compliance, marketing and advertising matters, international transactions and compliance, as well as mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

Hemp & CBD Products

The legal and regulatory issues surrounding the hemp industry—particularly concerning edible products such as hemp-derived CBD—continue to evolve quickly, with hemp-knowledgeable law firms few and far between. Frost Brown Todd has emerged as the leading national, full-service law firm for the hemp industry. Not only have our attorneys been there since the beginning of the Hemp resurgence, but we’ve done so in a geographical footprint overlapping with the epicenter for hemp seed and crop production. 

Our attorneys represent dozens of hemp-related companies encompassing every element of the industry, from seed and farming to processing and final products. We have assisted agribusinesses and food and CBD sellers with federal and state regulations and through corporate transactions, litigation, intellectual property disputes, and FDA/USDA matters. Our hemp team has the legal knowledge, backed by relevant industry experience, to offer the right advice and solutions for your needs. To learn more about our hemp industry thought leadership, check out the latest insight below from our Hemp Legally Speaking Blog.

Consumable Goods Experience

  • Represent several bourbon and distilled spirit clients throughout the production and distribution stages – from sourcing of materials, to distilling, to aging and bottling, all the way through the complex and evolving domestic and international distribution networks.
  • Advise clients regarding the everchanging landscape of direct to consumer (DTC) sales of all beverage types, including ready to drink (RTD) products, and low to no alcohol products.
  • Represented a national beverage manufacturer and worked seamlessly with in-house counsel to support their development of new model investment management documents. Our forms and support made it possible for them to achieve cutting-edge investment documentation while minimizing cost and maximizing the development of internal expertise. 
  • Serve as national counsel for a distributor of flavorings in diacetyl and diacetyl-substitute cases and local counsel for additional food flavoring manufacturers.  
  • Local counsel to major food processing company in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee for $1.7 billion finance transaction. 
  • Counsel one of the largest commercial greenhouses in the world in all stages of its growing operations, as well as others in controlled environment agriculture (CEA).
  • Advise food and beverage producers and processors in obtaining millions of dollars in state and local tax and economic incentives throughout our firm’s footprint.
  • Represent dozens of clients in the industrial hemp and CBD industry on regulatory, contract, and litigation matters.
  • Assisting a major manufacturer of packaged edible oils in structuring a $1.4 billion joint venture with another well-known edible oils manufacturer and assisting with the on-going JV relationship. 
  • Assisting a flavor and food ingredients client in an asset purchase transaction involving the assets of an aseptic filling and processing facility. 
  • Assisting a client in petitioning the FDA for an informal advisory opinion allowing a minor deviation from the current regulations to allow the client to take advantage of a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process.
  • Spearheaded successful recalls, including recalls down to the consumer level, as well as market withdrawals for multiple clients.
  • Provided interim general counsel services to food product clients.
  • Provided FDA labeling and claims review for food, cosmetic, and dietary supplement clients, including those with hemp/CBD ingredients.
  • Assisted several restaurant clients in navigating state and federal menu labeling requirements.
  • Represented craft brewery in West Virginia in stock acquisition, including federal and State licensure and regulatory approvals for acquisition, due diligence, negotiate stock agreements, injection of capital and expansion of brewery operations and all other aspects of acquisition.
  • Assisted craft brewery and a craft cidery in startup of new facilities in West Virginia, including organizational matters, federal and state licensing requirements and all aspects of regulatory compliance. 
  • Sale of a manufacturer in the cosmetics industry for a founder for over $35 million to private equity buyer. 

A consistent voice in changing markets.

When we say we’re responsive, we mean it. Our consumable goods team invests time to learn every client’s business to earn their trust and to better help them reach their goals.

Core Capabilities

Corporate/Transactional

We assist consumer product developers in each unique face of their business, from formation and general corporate matters to franchise, warehousing and distribution agreements. Additionally, we represent buyers, sellers, and other interested parties in all types of M&A deals, working closely with them at every step – from initial structuring through close – to both protect and advance their interests. Routine work for us includes facilitating stock and asset acquisitions, joint ventures, consolidations, and divestitures.

Regulatory, Licensing, Product Labeling & Advertising

We assist consumer products companies in the routine review of their marketing collateral, licensing applications with federal and state regulators, as well as the sourcing of third-party content and celebrity endorsements, when applicable. We also advise clients on the design and development of product packaging and labeling, particularly claims review, helping ensure that their products comply with applicable laws and regulations.

We understand that in a very public and highly competitive industry, companies must walk a fine line between what’s cutting-edge and what crosses the line with respect to conflicting state, federal and local rules. We invest time to understand the level of risk our clients are comfortable taking and work with them to ensure that their messaging stays well within legal boundaries.

Intellectual Property

We recognize that for our consumer goods and restaurant clients, their intellectual property assets can be as valuable as their tangible assets. Our IP attorneys, many of whom are registered patent practitioners, provide the full slate of counseling, licensing, litigation and portfolio management services. We help clients enforce their IP rights and develop creative strategies for maximizing the return on their IP investments. We are also experienced and adept at prosecuting infringers and counterfeiters in both the U.S. and internationally.

Dispute Resolution

The consumable goods industry is competitive, highly regulated, and among the hardest hit by disruptions to the marketplace and supply chain. Contract disputes are common, if not inevitable, but how such matters are handled is critical to a company’s prospects. Our attorneys have defended consumer products from the development phase through trial and beyond, garnering an impressive track record in breach of contract claims, product liability lawsuits, and tax-related litigation across the United States. This experience is not only an asset during trial and settlement proceedings, but it also enables our team to closely advise clients on the adoption of liability prevention programs that minimize a company’s exposure going forward.

International Trade Compliance

We have significant experience assisting consumable goods companies in various cross-border business transactions. We also help clients navigate customs, tariffs, import and export rules, new security regulations and trade agreements. Our global services include product distribution and licensing agreements; business formation and incentives; cross-border transactions and trade regulations; and international tax.

Supporting Evidence

Explore our latest insights on legal developments impacting your industry.