Food safety, traceability and sustainability blog

food recall management

Food Recalls / Food Safety / Transparency

Food Recall Management: How Food Recalls Affect Consumer Buying Habits and What You Can Do About It

Food recalls and withdrawals are inevitable in the food industry. From a marketing perspective, preserving your brand reputation while ensuring consumer safety during food recalls is a priority. Understanding consumer responses to food recalls is also crucial for proper food recall management. How do you maintain customer loyalty while managing a food crisis?

While there is evidence that food recalls can reduce retail purchases, research shows that the effects are often temporary. Research on household responses to food safety scandals, published in Elsevier’s Food Policy Journal, revealed that consumers soon return to old buying habits after initial retail reductions in response to media coverage of a food safety issue.

But does this guarantee that consumers will continue to buy your products, even after a food recall? The answer is no. Consumers today have unlimited information access, are extremely safety conscious, and can take strict measures to ensure their own safety in the face of a crisis.

So, how do you ensure your products continue to get consumer love in the wake of a food recall? Here are two important takeaways:

Act fast

Speed is of the essence in any food recall or withdrawal. FoodLogiQ conducted a  supply chain transparency survey and 50 percent of consumers expect a recall to be resolved within one to two days. Similarly, a study led by researchers at the Business School, University of South Wales, revealed that consumers show higher repurchase intention towards companies who demonstrate recall proactiveness (such as fast resolution) than to companies who do not.

This means companies have to provide relevant information to the appropriate authorities and remove affected products from the market in the shortest time possible.

Ultimately, the ability to execute these actions depends on how prepared you are. Being prepared means having a robust recall plan as well as detailed supply chain records so an affected product can easily be traced to the specific lot from where it originated.

The faster you deal with a recall and get back to normal business operations, the easier it is to maintain customer loyalty. Your goal is to maintain complete control of the situation from pre-recall to post-recall.

Take communication seriously

Consumers expect as much information as possible during a food safety issue. Holding back information about the level of damage may do irreparable harm to your customer relationships. Infrequent status updates during a recall and a company’s lack of activity on social media were identified as major turn-offs for consumers in a survey by The Harris Poll. Maintaining communication at all times would help to prevent aggravation and contain the crisis.

Keep in mind that if consumers cannot access information from you, they will look to other sources. Your goal is to be at the forefront with relevant information when consumers need it. FoodLogiQ shares your goal.  We believe a culture of transparency should include recall management. Rapid response to a recall will help preserve your brand reputation and consumer trust. 

Summing it up

While a preventive approach to food recalls remains the best option, preparedness can be the difference between maintaining consumer loyalty and dealing with a tainted brand reputation. Be prepared to perform recalls in the shortest possible time while communicating with consumers and stakeholders at all times throughout the process.

You can learn more about how FoodLogiQ is helping our customers create a safer and more transparent food supply chain by requesting a demo.

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Posted by Katy Jones on Jul 13, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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