Kraft Foods’ Sticky Situation

Over Memorial Day weekend, a woman opened a leaking pouch of Capri Sun to find a thick moldy substance inside. She contacted Kraft and an independent testing lab about the substance. She asked Kraft to issue a recall on the products, but they declined. Kraft did not issue a public statement about the problem for 10 days.

On June 10, Kraft issued a statement on their Facebook page claiming that the material was tested and found to be mold, which is “unpleasant” but “not a safety issue.” Many consumers were not pleased by this response, as evidenced by the backlash on Kraft’s Facebook page.

On Friday, June 11, Kraft added a “Capri Sun” tab to their Facebook page. The tab contains answers to some of the questions consumers have been asking about the issue.

While Kraft’s recent efforts to respond to concerned consumers seem like a step in the right direction, the amount of time it took them to issue a statement and the lack of concern shown in the statement has put them in a tough spot. Many consumers are still not satisfied and continue to leave comments stating that they will no longer buy Capri Sun products.

In addition to the many comments from consumers expressing disgust, there have also been many comments suggesting better ways Kraft could have dealt with the issue. Some examples I saw suggested that Kraft should have pulled the products from grocery store shelves while waiting for lab results or that Kraft should think about introducing clear juice pouches so that there is no question about the contents.

While Kraft may not have seen the issue as cause for concern, the consumers did and that is what matters here. Kraft claimed that mold is not a safety issue, but who wants to purchase a product with the thought that there may be mold growing in it?

Unfortunately for Kraft, this may be a lesson for the textbooks about the impact of social media responses in a crisis.

To read more about Kraft’s response to the issue, click here.

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