What Will it Take to Put A Lid on Britvic’s Recall Woes?


The question is; how easy will it be for Fruit Shoot to reclaim its territory after weeks or even months off shelf? While some observers feel the strength of the brand means retailers will welcome it back, others say Britvic will have to earn its place again. It will need to show, in quantifiable terms, that rate of sale and footfall in the fixture is down without Fruit Shoot, says Renton.

Retailers may argue Fruit Shoot can’t regain its rate of sale, and treat the brand as if it is a new launch, adds David Sables of Sentinel Management Consultants. Buyers could exploit the situation by demanding a listing fee in addition to penalties, he says.

When Fruit Shoot does go back on shelf, Britvic will need to convince shoppers to ditch whatever they’ve replaced it with in the interim. It will also need to offer assurances that the drinks brand is 100% safe. In this respect, it is in a better position than Cadbury was six years ago when salmonella contamination sparked a large-scale recall, according to Phil Rumbol, who is now a partner in advertising agency 101 but was marketing director for the confectioner at the time.

Salmonella is invisible, while this is a physical thing – so Britvic will be able to make it clear beyond doubt that the product has a new cap and it is no longer an issue, he says.

Claire Nuttall, senior partner at 1HQ, argues that the PR work should start now. This could be a chance for them to reconfirm themselves as a forward-thinking brand, she says. This should be considered an opportunity to re-engage and inspire. I suggest they think creatively about digital media in the next six weeks and the role it can play in softening the blow.

To learn more about the work that HRA Global has carried out to help Britvic, contact us.

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